Inserts (Liners, Slips, and Flats)

Designed to fit inside a larger outer frame, liners and slips provide another line of definition. Used on mortise-and-tenon frames, they are especially effective in helping to direct the eye in to the picture, and softening the transition between frame and picture.

Beveled liner and slip

A liner (left) and slip (right).

Liners are simply small frames; slips are small, flat unrabbeted strips that are either mitered (ours actually have tiny splines) or lap-joined. They generally have the same appearance in the finished frame, so the difference is a little technical. We can advise you what to use in your case.

Liners and slips are often gilded. We do oil gilding, applying the leaf directly onto the wood so that the wood grain is visible—a very popular technique in nineteenth century framing. (Various colors of leaf are shown below.) Alternatively, ungilded wood in a contrasting stain—usually darker than the outer frame—is often effective, and from time to time a liner that matches the frame is suitable. And very often we use painted slips to bring a little color to the framing.

Flats are wider, thin unrabbeted flat inner frames (usually wider than the outer frame) that lie on top of the glass. The most common use is in cases in which a work on paper would ideally be framed close, but the margins are too wide to hide under the rabbet of the frame. (Scroll down for more on flats.)

Liners and Slips

Below are shown some of our most popular liners and slips.

See examples of whole frames and framed pictures with liners…

Dark wood liners

Liners in dark wood. From outside to inside: No. 1—3/4″ in quartersawn white oak (Van Dyke stain); beveled liner—5/8″ in quartersawn white oak (Black stain); cove liner—5/8″ in quartersawn white oak (Black-Brown stain); No. 1 All-CV (carved) in walnut (Black stain).

Gilt oak liners and slips

Gilt oak liners and slips, from outside to inside: No. 500 (ogee)—3/4″ in white gold; cove—5/8″ in 22kt gold; cove—5/8″ in copper leaf; beveled slip—5/8″ in 22kt gold; flat mitered slip in lemon gold.

Carved gilt liners

Carved gilt liners, all quartersawn white oak, 23 kt (more yellow), 18 kt (pale). From outside: No. 400—1″ (18 kt), No. 1.3 CV—1″ (23 kt), No. 1 CV—3/4″ (18 kt), No. 310 CV—3/4″ (23 kt), No. 2 CV—3/4″ (23 kt).

No. 2 with a contrasting coved liner

No. 2 shown with a contrasting (Black-Brown) coved liner

No.1 with gilt ogee liner

No. 1 with No. 500—3/4″ gilt ogee liner

Yoshida with slip

A No. 2001 “Yoshida” frame in machiche with an ebony plug and black stained lap-joined slip.

Painted slips arrayed

Painted slips. Learn more on this blog post…

Lg 4-Square Basic with gilt linerSee examples of whole frames and framed pictures with liners…


Basic lap-joined flat—profile view

Basic lap-joined flat. Available any width.

Chamfered lap-joined flat—profile view

Chamfered lap-joined flat. Available any width

Detail of framed photogravure with chamfered flat

Corner detail of ES Curtis photogravure framed with a chamfered flat. (The outer frame is No. 348—1-1/2″.) Click to see full piece…

Curtis photogravure framed with flat

Another, smaller, ES Curtis photogravure framed with a chamfered flat. (Outer frame is a No. 20.15 CV.)

Print framed with flat

Colored etching framed with a flat. The rounded top corners follow the plate mark. They are mitered, while the bottom corners are simple lap-joints.