How to Choose the Right Frame and Matting


How to choose mat and frame for art?

With so many different kinds of frames available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right type of frame and mat combo for your pictures or artwork. Picture frames and moulding come in an abundance of different textures, sizes, and colours. On top of that, combining the frames and mouldings with the right kind of mat is a whole other process. One of the main factors when choosing the right frame and mat combo is the picture or artwork itself.

In case you didn’t know, a frame mat is a hardboard material which is used to mount and enhance a framed piece. While choosing a frame mat for your picture or artwork, it's important to choose a quality material that will preserve your piece for a long period of time. Keep in mind, you will want to avoid acidic frame mats since they will turn yellow eventually.

Are you wondering how to find the ideal frame and mat match for your picture or art piece? Here are some things to consider while choosing the right kind of mat for your picture:


Step 1: Determine The Size Of Your Picture

The size of your picture plays an important role here. For larger sized pieces, a thin mat border will work best and a thicker mat will best complement smaller photos or artwork. Take the time measure the dimensions of the piece you want to frame and consult your frame supplier about your best mat options given the exact size.

Step 2: Select A Mat Board For The Picture

There is a seemingly endless variety of frame mat textures available on the market. For an especially eye-catching piece, contrast the frame’s color or texture with the color and material of the frame mat. This will give your photo, picture, or artwork more dimension--whereas if the color of the frame and frame mat match, the depth of the piece will fade away

Step 3: Pick The Right Thickness For Your Picture Frame

As mentioned earlier, the frame mat acts a protective barrier around your photos and/or artwork. It also enlarges your framed piece. Keep in mind that if the picture is already large, the frame mat should be thin, and if the picture or artwork is smaller, the mat should be thicker to support the piece and add more dimension.

Step 4: Measure The Size Of Your Picture Plus The Matting

To determine the opening of the mat, start off by measuring the artwork or photo. It is necessary that the mat at least covers a minimum of ⅛” on each side of the piece. For example, if a picture measures 8 x 10 inches, the opening should measure 7 + 3/4 X 9 + 3/4 inches. The image size and the opening position should always be calculated before making your final purchase decision.

Step 5: Choose The Right Effect

In this day and age, there are a wide variety of frame mat effects you can choose from. When it comes to frame mat, effect refers to the texture and pattern of the matting material. Rather than going for a single color frame mat, you can use textured or patterned mat boards to add depth to your picture. When choosing mat patterns, opt for the subtler ones. A bolder pattern for a mat board might detract from the subject matter and details of your framed photo or artwork.

Step 6: Select A Style

Choosing the right style is extremely crucial since it’s your opportunity to express your personality or personal taste. If you end up matching the color of your frame and mat color, the picture or art piece might lose its subtlety and interest. Instead, try choosing multiple colors for your frame mats, using the color of your actual frame as an accent. When you choose bright for your frame mat(s), your artwork or photos will look much more prominent and stand out on the wall. For something even more unique, try experimenting with two colors as an accent for your frame mat.


Step 7: Test Your Color Scheme

Last but definitely not least, the final stage is determining how your framed picture or artwork will look on your wall. If you have a small room, try white frames and frame mats, as this will help your room appear much more spacious. However, in larger rooms, the idea is to fill up the walls with your artwork and pictures. Consider using darker colored frames with smaller frame mats to make your pieces seem larger--demanding attention and filling up all of the available space.

What Color Frame Is Best For A Black & White Photo?

To enhance a black and white photo, you should always choose a black and white frame and mat combo. A black frame with a white mat border or a frame with a black accent and white frame mat will provide the most depth for these types of pieces. For smaller spaces, a white frame paired with a white frame mat can bring a lot of drama to your piece. No matter your decision, keep in mind that using colorful frames and frame mats for a black and white picture will diminish the edginess and authenticity of your black and white piece.

How To Choose A Picture Frame Size?

The following tips will help guide you in the process of choosing the right frame for your artwork or pictures:


Think About The Space

When trying to find the perfect frame size, always consider the wall where you want to hang the picture as well as envision the entire space of the room. With smaller rooms or spaces, you’ll need to choose whether you need multiple little frames or one or two larger framed pieces.

Types Of Photos

For a family photo or larger pictures, a thin or simple frame will work the best. For simple scene pictures, a larger frame will attract more attention.

Check The Matting

Keep in mind that matting does affect the frame size. For example, a small picture with thick matting will need a bigger frame.

The heart of any wall art is the frame and matte combo. These two elements enhance the beauty of any artwork, picture, or photo. When looking for the perfect frame sizes and matting, it’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed. However, if you follow the above-mentioned steps and consult a professional framer or frame supplier, you’ll be able to choose the best quality frame and matt combo for your artwork.

Do you have any additional questions about how to choose mat and frame for art for your custom piece? Contact one of our framing specialists directly by calling Universal Arquati at (800) 668-3627!