What is picture-framing a deck?

“Picture-framing” refers to putting a border around the edge of a deck or porch. On a composite deck or porch, picture frames are constructed using square-edge boards and mitered corners to ensure a clean, finished look.

Among the reasons to consider a picture frame:

  • It heightens visual interest. Most contractors will use one color for the deck’s interior and then a contrasting shade for the picture frame. This enhances the custom look of the space and creates a border that really pops.
  • It creates a polished look. Framing with a square-edge board will cover the exposed ends of interior boards as well as hide the edge on grooved decking that is used with hidden fastening systems.
  • It highlights deck stairs and edges, visually reminding guests to watch their footing. That’s a smart, easy way to enhance safety on your space. One thing to consider: Darker picture frames are easier to see during the day; however, lighter picture frames are often easier to discern in the evening – especially if you don’t have riser lights on stairs.

Picture-framing is also effective for defining specific zones on your deck, such as the dining area, as well as highlighting special features like a fire pit.

One final tip: Be sure that the width of the picture frame is in correct proportion to the size of the overall deck. If you’re working with a large space, you may want to create a wider, two-board-width picture frame. If the deck is smaller, stick to one board width.


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