Most of my soft pastel paintings are sold framed (unless otherwise marked). This is primarily for the protection of the painting during delivery. Pastel paintings are fragile and easily damaged. Mats or spacers hold the painting away from the glass in the frame, and the frame holds the painting flat and protects it from accidental scratching, bending, or smudging. Paintings should also be protected from being jarred or bumped. Near a door, for example, is not a good place to hang a pastel painting.
Because some collectors prefer to have their paintings custom framed to help them stand out in the space where they hang them, most of the frames included with my paintings can be easily removed. You can choose to have them custom framed, or hang them as they are.
Use of Fixative:
I very lightly spray the paintings with a fixative. The fixative helps prevent pastel dust from falling off inside the frame, but it does not prevent paintings from being smudged or damaged if they are touched directly. If you ever have a painting reframed, be sure your framer understands the front of the paintings must not be touched.
Reverse Bottom Mat Bevel:
You might also notice that I slant the bottom cut of the mats inward, the opposite of the side and top cuts. I recommend that you ask your framer to do the same. If any dust does fall from the painting over time (and very small amounts almost certainly will), the dust will be hidden from view behind the downward sloping mat cut.
A good alternative for managing dust is to use a spacer between the painting and the glass instead of a mat. I use spacers on some of my paintings, especially plein air pieces.The spacer won’t be seen but will allow any dust to fall away from the glass. A professional framer can show you how spacers work.
Glass–not plexiglass–should always be used when framing pastels. Plexiglass holds a static charge which can attract dust from the painting. Also, tempting though it might be, I don’t recommend non-glare glass. It can obscure details in the painting. Museum quality glass with UV protection is more than adequate. You might want to look at the painting through various kinds of glass before having it permanently mounted.