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Frame Matting Basics

When it comes to framing a photo or artwork that you created, frame matting plays an important role. Frame matting is responsible for providing that extra “pop” to your artwork or photo, without losing focus of the work itself. At Frame USA, we offer not only a variety of colors, but we also offer a range of mat corner cuts and various grades of matboard. When trying to determine what size matboard you should order, think of how much matting you want to be shown. Typically this is about 2 inches on each side of your piece. However, this reveal can be as narrow, or as wide, as you’d prefer! Another thing that you need to remember when matting your artwork is that in order for your image to not fall through, there is a slight overlap of the mat and printed piece.. This will usually deduct about ¼ inch from each side. Or if there are some markings that you’d like to cover, we can make any custom opening to do so! This is done so your artwork will sit securely behind the mat.

Carefully choosing the right frame and mat to go along with your artwork adds more character, and can really help the whole frame pop!

Without frame matting

Framed piece without frame matting Framed piece without matting added Framed piece without adding a matboard

with frame matting

Framed piece with frame matting Framed piece with frame matting Framed piece with matboard added


Poster Frames

Preserving your Artwork in Wood Frames Will Increase its Value

Cheap Picture Frames can Increase your Artwork’s Value

When it comes to framing your artwork, cost should not be the determining factor. You can use cheap wood frames to complete your work. What it comes down to is the method that is used in order to preserve the longevity and value of your pieces. Understanding how to choose the frame for your artwork will help you to get the most out of it, whether you plan to sell it or simply want to keep your own work in optimal condition.

Acid Free Materials

The use of acid free materials is crucial to the longevity of your artwork. This pertains to the materials used on the front and back of the work. If you do not use acid free materials, you put your work at risk for deteriorating or looking worn inside the wooden picture frames. You will likely start to see small brown spots that eventually spread over the entire piece of art. Even when you find products that are termed “acid-free” you should proceed with caution. The best mats to use are those that are made from 100 percent cotton rag, which is known to last for centuries without deterioration. This is true for the mat as well as the backing board. Even though the backing board does not play a large role in the appeal of the finished product, it can weigh the frame down and put your work of art in danger of getting ruined.

Archival Quality

Another important factor to look for when preserving your artwork is the term ‘archival quality’. This is a standard that is set by curators and librarians that deal with old items that need to be preserved. Any product that is labeled archival quality will not prematurely harm your work of art. These products have no chemical reactions that can occur that could cause deterioration of your work, allowing them to remain beautiful for many years to come.

Reversible Products

Any wood picture frames or mats that you use should also be completely reversible. This means that nothing is permanent about your new display and that you can remove them later on if you decide to do so. In order for archival products to be effective, they need certain conditions in order to be able to provide the longevity that they promise. This includes being stored in a room that has controlled temperature, light and handling. This gives the product a chance at standing the test of time as well as being reversed in the future if the need arises.

Museum Quality Mat board

When you choose the mat board for your artwork to be placed in wood frames, you need to take into consideration the longevity that you desire. If you plan for your art to be around for many years to come, you need museum quality mat board. This means that it is non-acidic, lignin free and archival quality. If you do not use the appropriate mat, you put your work at risk for discoloration and acid burn. If the mat is not acid free, the entire picture could eventually become discolored or look burned. Looking for the highest quality mat board that promotes conservation is key to the longevity of your products.

Keeping Enough Space

Keeping plenty of space between your art and the glass of the frame can help to prevent it from sticking or causing damage. Glass that is too close or touching could allow moisture, dirt and other particles to build up on your art. Choosing the right glass gives your work of art plenty of breathing room and the ability to be conserved for many years to come.

Cheap wood frames can provide your artwork with the beauty and longevity that you desire. When you shop for frames, ensure that they are of archival quality, use museum quality mat boards and that all mats and mounting boards are acid and lignin free. This will help to preserve the longevity of your artwork. For more information about choosing the right wood frames for your work, contact Frame USA and see how you can transform your art into pieces of elegance and beauty.