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What Is Picture Frame Matting?

What Is Picture Frame Matting?

To Mat or Not To Mat

To mat or not to mat your pictures is up to you as the owner of the photograph.  Matting your prints, posters, or achievement documents has many benefits. In this blog, we are going to break down picture frame matting, some of the benefits, and how to choose what mat you should use.

photo frame collage on a wall

What is Picture Frame Matting?

Picture frame matting is adding a paper-based material to your frame, under the glass and on top of your picture according to wikipedia.com.  Matting a picture frame helps add character and detail to your frame and your image.

Change the Focal Point

octagon frame in wall showing green garden

If you have an 8x10 picture and frame, and you want to make the focal point right in the center of the image, add a mat to your picture like the one pictured above.  See how the focal point is focused mainly on the pink flower in the tree. Adding the mat, whether it is square, circle, or octagon shaped, to your frame will make the focus whatever you want it to be.

Bigger is Better

If your child has drawn, painted, or colored something in school and you want to frame it so you can hang it on your wall for all of your guests to see, matting the picture frame will help you make the picture seem more significant than it is.  Your son or daughter brings home an 8x8 picture that they painted in art, and you can get a frame that is 11x14, and add a mat that will coincide with colors in his or her craft. Now you can put your child’s picture on the wall for everyone to see and compliment.


Do we need to protect our pictures if they are in a frame?  You absolutely should. We think that because the image is in a frame, it should be protected.  However, this is not always the case. When you place a picture, whether printed, hand painted, or an old document in a frame and the image is right up against the glass of the frame there is no room for air circulation.  Mats create added space between your art and the acrylic front to keep air circulating for preventing condensation build up which can lead to mildew or buckling of the picture or document.

Which Mat Should I Choose?

When framing and matting a photo, document or piece of art, you need to consider the value of the object being mounted. If your piece is purely decorative, you can choose from the many décor mats, from cotton to metallic to suede, in a vast array of colors and styles if you decide not to do it yourself.

These mats can be a practical choice for many types of presentations. However, they may not protect your piece over many years. If you are framing a valuable and irreplaceable object that you intend to preserve for generations, you should choose an acid-free, lignin-free mat.


We frame our pictures, paintings, and documents because we want to share with all of our company how proud we are.  To keep your proud moments in the best condition and so that they can continue to be shared for many years to come, matting your pictures in a frame is a great way to protect and preserve your photographs for years and years.

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