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APFA Learn to Frame

 Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question, or scroll down to read the entire FAQ.

  1. Why should I start a picture framing business?
  2. Why should I choose The American Picture Framing Academy?
  3. What's the difference between your various classes?
  4. How much is tuition?
  5. Are there any additional fees?
  6. How do I enroll?
  7. Will I receive a diploma?
  8. Do I need framing experience to attend your classes?
  9. How much money will I make?
  10. How much does it cost to start a framing business?
  11. Can you help me purchase equipment?
  12. I want to work from home, will your school help me?
  13. I intend to open a retail store or art gallery, when should I attend your school?
  14. Should I attend your school if I plan to buy a franchise?
  15. What is your class size?
  16. How far in advance do I need to enroll?
  17. I want to buy an existing business, should I attend your class first?
  18. I already have business experience, which class should I take?
  19. What type of equipment will I use in class?
  20. Will I learn about computerized mat cutters?
Why should I start a picture framing business?

Picture framing can be a fun and profitable business whose benefits include low startup costs, flexible modes of operation (home-based, retail, mobile, full-time, part-time etc.), reasonable hours, and of course, high markups. (If you've ever purchased custom picture framing, you probably know this already.)

Framing can also a great business for couples, as one person often excels in the creative side, while the other in the technical or business side.

Picture framing is also terrific add-on to an existing business, such as photography, art, sign-making, etc..

Many people choose framing as a retirement business because of it flexibility, profit potential, and because it's a fun and creative activity.

Framing is neither physically demanding or stressful for most people. As a result, it's a business that can continue to operate throughout your retirement years.

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Why should I attend The American Picture Framing Academy?

It's all about the education - in slightly more than a decade, The American Picture Framing Academy has grown to become the professional framing industry's largest provider of technical, business, management and sales training. Each year we helped more successful framing businesses get their start than all other schools combined. It's an accomplishment we're proud of and that we've worked hard to achieve.

We're serious about your success. Our focus has been on meeting the needs of the entrepreneur and serious novices. With all proper modesty, we believe our success is due to the fact that we're the best at what we do.

We feature a top notch faculty and use state-of-the art equipment. (Read what our students say about us. Click Here 

Professional Level Training is all we do. The APFA features the only fulltime framing instructors in the industry. And you'll learn using the same professional equipment used in frameshops accross North America.

Many self-proclaimed schools are moonlighting, they;ll attempt to teach you while also juggling their retail responibilities.

One aggresively advertised school offers a hobby-level course aimed at do-it-yourself hobbyists. using reudimntary tools use their classroom as a forum to sell equipment or consulting services, but at the APFA, our only objective is providing you with the highest quality learning experience. Our goal is to give you skills and confidence and provide your business with a competitive edge.

When you leave us, it will be with knowledge, not with a handful of souvenir frames and a sales pitch for consulting services or products. We'll teach you as much as possible about as many things as possible, as efficiently as possible. You'll receive broad-based knowledge and valuable tips that give you an edge on the competition and help put you on the path to success. Boot camp attendees even receive a complete pricing system so you won't have to spend hundreds of dollars for software.

Your future is too important to trust it to just anyone. Attend one of our bootcamps and you'll understand why students travel from across North America and around the globe to attend our classes, making the APFA the #1 choice of novices, experienced professionals and serious amateurs too.

No prior experience is required to attend our 1-1/2 -Day Basic Professional Class or 3-Day Boot Camp. Picture Success at The American Picture Framing Academy. You'll be glad you did.

Want to know more? Call us now at  860-940-9262 or 888-840-9605. We love to talk picture framing and we'll try our best to answer any questions you may have. And if you haven't ordered our 2-DVD set, "How to Start a Successful Picture Framing Business," it's a great first step that's full of inside information about how to start and operate a successful picture framing business. Click Here to Order


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What's the difference between the various classes?

The 3-Day, 6-Session Boot Camp is our most popular class. Geared to the entrepreneur, it combines our Basic Professional Class and Advanced Professional Class in an affordable discount package. You'll learn all the basic professional level skills: mat cutting; mounting techniques; cutting and joining frames; cutting and handling glass; fitting procedures, etc.. Plus the skills that can help make your successful: pricing; design and color; marketing and advertising; how to sell to profitable corporate, commercial and institutional accounts and more.

The Advanced Class also cover high-end and high-profit techniques that can separate your business from run-of-the-mill frameshop and craft store chains, including 3-dimensional object box (shadow box) framing, fillets, canvas transfer and more.


If you want to make money with your framing skills, this is the class for you. In fact, many entrepreneurs get their start in picture framing by attending The American Picture Framing Academy's most popular class and it's what we're known for throughout the industry.

The Basic and Advanced classes are also available separately.

Naturally, you'll learn all of the technical fundamentals that our 1-1/2 -Day class covers, but with the greater depth, breadth and detail that an aspiring professional framer needs and desires. You'll also learn advanced mat cutting skills and other techniques.

Most important, in the 3-Day Professional Class, you'll learn the business secrets of professional picture framing from one of the industry's most respected and widely read business experts, Paul Cascio, aka "The Guerrilla Framer." (Read some of Paul's articles)

Mr. Cascio travels around the country as his schedule allows, lecturing at many APFA classes. He'll share his creative insights and high-powered business strategies, answer your questions and provide pricing, sales, marketing, management and advertising tips to help your profit picture look its best. No matter where you live, if you're starting a picture framing business, start with our 3-Day Professional Class, a small investment of time and money whose benefits will last an entire career.

Don't miss the opportunity to put your business on the path to success.  (Note: Call our office for an updated schedule of Mr. Cascio's appearances.)

Tuition is very reasonable, especially when you consider what you can do with your new skills and knoweldge. Early registration discounts may also be available for certain classes. Class size is strictly limited, and because many of our 3-Day Professional Classes are sold out as much as 6 weeks in advance, early registration is strongly recommended. Call our office to check dates and availability. 1-860-940-9262


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How much is tuition?

Tuition varies depending on whether you choose our 1-1/2 -Day Basic Class, 1-1/2 -Day Advanced Class, or our most popular option, the 3-Day Combination Class (Boot Camp). You'll enjoy the lowest tuition by taking advantage of early registration specials, and by bring a friend or family member along.

For about the price you'd pay for just a few custom frames purchased from your local framer, you can learn to frame like a pro or even  start your own framing business.

And while almost anyone can learn how to put four sticks together without help, keep in mind that professional framing requires a lot more knowledge than you might think. After all, you'll be handling valuable items that require specialized techniques. Even one mistake can cost far more than than a week at school. Also, by learning quickly, you'll be able to get your business started quickly.

Bring a friend along and split the savings. Once you know how to frame, it shouldn't take long to recoup your investment. 

Starting, or buying, a framing business without first attending would be a shortsighted mistake, because even if you know business, you probably don't know the framing business. If you're thinking about starting or buying a framing business, spend a few days with us first. You'll be absolutely amazed at how much you learn and you'll leave with the skills and confidence that will put you on the path to success. Call us now and we'll explain why.

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Are there any additional fees?

NO.  Unlike some framing schools, all materials are included and there are no hidden charges. Naturally, you'll be responsible for your own transportation, food and lodging expenses. At most of our locations, you won't even need to rent a car. We've also arranged discount lodging for our students at many of our locations. Call us for details. 1-860-940-9262

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How do I enroll?

You can enroll online or by telephone. Call anytime with questions or to enroll: 860-940-9262. Be sure to ask about discounts for groups of 2 or more.

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Will I receive a diploma?

Yes, upon successful completion any of our classes, you'll receive an APFA diploma - proudly framed by you (with supervision) at a level of professional quality that just might amaze you.
Displaying your American Picture Framing Academy diploma at your business will demonstrate to your customers your qualifications and commitment to professional growth.
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Do I need framing experience to attend your classes?

No. Experience is not necessary and won't hinder your learning experience.

Most of our students have no experience, or are self-taught and want to learn professional techniques. Framing is not nuclear physics, but there are a lot of little things to learn - things that separate successful framers from the struggling wannabes. Our staff will provide easy-to-understand instruction and also individualized attention. When you complete any our courses, you'll be able to confidently say, "I can do this." You will need more practice of course, but you'll have the knowledge and familiarity that forms the foundation for future success.

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How much money can I make?

Honestly, I wish we could answer that, but unfortunately we can't. In fact, no one can.

You should be aware that starting a business of any type entails some amount of risk. Of course, as you may already know, working for someone else also entails risks.

At APFA, we want you to be successful. We'll  help you reduce risk through preparation and education. In our 3-Day Professional Class, you'll not only learn how to make frames, you'll also learn how to make money making frames.  We cover the profit picture like no other school. After all, Paul didn't get to be known as "The Guerrilla Framer" for nothing.

And since knowing what not to do, is as important as knowing what to do, we'll warn you about about common, but costly mistakes; and how to avoid them too. We believe that knowledge is the most important tool in any frame shop.  Call us at 860-940-9262 and let usl tell you more about our classes.

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How much does it cost to start a framing business?

It varies. Framing is a relatively inexpensive business to start because only a small amount of equipment is required. If you're planning a home-based business you may be able to start with less than a $1000 investment in in equipment. However, you can also choose to spend $10,000 - $15,000, or more for a full complement of new, first class equipment for a modern retail store or high production business.

In addition to equipment, you'll need work tables, basic materials and supplies, any leasehold improvements that might be necessary, signage, furniture, fixtures and working capital. You can learn more about startup costs and lots of other valuable information in our highly acclaimed 2-DVD set, "How to Start Your Own Picture Framing Business." If you're thinking about starting a framing business, we recommend our DVDs as an inexpensive first step. Click here for more info

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Can you help me purchase equipment?

The American Picture Framing Academy does not sell equipment. However, we do provide our students with a comprehensive list of sources for equipment, wholesale materials, supplies, art and more. You'll also get a Buyer's Guide to framing equipment and supplies as part of our 3-Day class.

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I want to work from home, will your school help me?

Absolutely. You'll learn about special strategies for making money in a home-based framing business. You may not be aware of this, but many of the picture framing industry's most successful retailers began as a basement, garage or attic business. Our 3-Day class is designed for entrepreneurs of every size business and budget. The knowledge you receive can help put even the smallest of businesses on the path to success. Who knows, someday you may be a big business.

Check out Paul Cascio's article about home-based picture framing, "Have you Hugged a Basement Framer Lately?"  Be sure to order our DVDs on starting a picture framing business. It could be the most important investment you make.

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I intend to open a retail store or art gallery, when should I attend your school?

We believe that the first step to starting any type of business is to learn as much as possible. Begin with either our 3-Day Professional Class, or our 2-DVD set, "How to Start Your Own Picture Framing Business, " include lots of information that will help you get started, with tips on everything from choosing a location, to naming your business, to negotiating a lease.

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Should I attend your school if I'm going to buy a franchise or existing business?

If it's a McDonalds, no. But if you are considering a picture framing franchise, don't simply rely on the franchisor for information. Attending our 3-Day class before you sign on the dotted line can help you make a more informed decision. You'll probably learn enough that you won't need to spend those extra tens of thousands of dollars. There's no Golden Arches in picture framing, most customers will choose from the nearest frame shops.

We can also help you buy an existing business at the right price and terms. 

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What is your class size?

Despite the popularity of our classes, we've kept our maximum class very small, but it varies depending on location. The maximum size is usually no more than eight students. Classes typically have two instructors.
By the way, private instruction is also available, but since picture framing is not terribly complicated,  it's doubtful you will need or want it. Feel welcome to call to discuss specifics. At our classes, students network with one another, share ideas and experiences, offer helpful opinions and form friendships that can last a lifetime.
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How far in advance do I need to enroll?

As noted previously, our maximum class size is typically 8-14 students. Therefore, many of our classes are full; sometime months in advance. For this reason, we recommend early registration. You may save money too as some of our locations offer tiered pricing. Occasionally we get a last minute openings, so don't hesitate to call even about  classes that are ready to begin.

And don't forget, we offer discounts for groups of two or more.

Call us anytime for more information. 1-860-940-9262

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I want to buy an existing business, should I attend your class first?

Most definitely.

Buying an existing business can be a great way to get into picture framing. In the 3-Day Professional Class, you'll learn from Paul Cascio, the former owner of a business brokerage. Find out how to evaluate picture framing businesses, detect red flag warnings, learn how much to pay, and even techniques to get the Seller to finance your purchase. You'll also learn how to find businesses that are for sale, before the information becomes public knowledge - thus placing you in a highly desirable one-bidder auction.

Don't sign a contract until you talk to us. Call for a complimentary consultation. 1-860-940-9262

If you haven't purchased our 2-DVD set, "How to Start Your Own Picture Framing Business," you're missing out on a lot of valuable information. Click here for more info

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I already have business experience, which class should I take?

We recommend the 3-Day Professional Class, which is designed for entrepreneurs of all experience levels. Don't worry, we won't bore you with general small business info. Everything covered in class is specific to the picture framing business, such as pricing and how to tap into the lucrative market for corporate and commercial framing. We focus on your profit picture, with information that will help you save money and make your business grow faster. We'll also tell you about common mistakes that can rob you of profit, or worse. Our students are generally amazed how much they learned and how much fun they had too. We believe you learn more and are more alert if you're having a good time.

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What type of equipment will I use?

All of our equipment is professional grade equipment commonly found in professional frames shops. And there's plenty of it too. Most of it is also new or nearly new, as we replace much of our equipment every one-two years.

We'll also provide you with a Buyer's Guide to Framing Equipment, so you'll know your options, including their pros and cons, and can make informed choices when you buy equipment. If you're on a tight budget, we'll tell you how to stretch dollars to get started with just a small investment.

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Will I learn about computerized mat cutters?

Yes, but computerized mat cutters can be very expensive and not usually found in a startup businesses. Besides, you already know how to use a computer keyboard or you wouldn't be reading this. However, you'll also learn how to cut mats with a traditional professional mat cutter, a skill that can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

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Enter to a Professional Mat Cutter