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Guide on How to Frame and Matte Pictures – Easy Steps

by | Dec 6, 2023 | How To

Framing and matting pictures is an easy and affordable way to enhance your photos and artwork. By following these simple steps, you can create professional-looking frames that will preserve and showcase your cherished memories. In this guide, we will provide you with practical tips and techniques for choosing the right mat, cutting it to size, and assembling your frame.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right mat color can enhance the picture and create a professional finish.
  • Cutting and measuring the mat accurately is important for a clean and precise look.
  • Mounting the picture using archival materials ensures the longevity of your artwork.
  • Assembling the frame correctly and hanging it with care will showcase your framed picture effectively.
  • Consider consulting a professional framer for valuable artwork and heirloom photos.

Choosing the Right Mat Color

When it comes to framing pictures, selecting the right mat color is crucial. The mat not only enhances the image but also adds a professional finish to the overall presentation. To ensure your picture stands out and complements the frame, consider the colors in your photo and choose a mat color that harmonizes with the image.

For instance, if your photo features vibrant colors like a stunning sunset, opt for a mat in a shade of blue that matches the sky. This will create a cohesive look and draw attention to the image. On the other hand, a simple white mat can make the picture pop against a dark frame, bringing focus to the photo itself.

It’s important to use acid-free or archival-grade mats to protect your artwork from deteriorating over time. These high-quality mats prevent discoloration and ensure the longevity of your framed pictures.

Mat Color Best for
Blue Photos with a blue sky or ocean
White Contrasting with dark frames
Black Monochrome and black-and-white images
Neutral shades Images with multiple colors

Above all, trust your artistic intuition and personal preference when selecting a mat color. Experiment with different options to find the one that best complements your photo and enhances its beauty.

Cutting and Measuring the Mat

When it comes to framing and matting pictures, cutting and measuring the mat is an essential step to ensure a professional finish. Follow these picture framing basics and frame and matting ideas to achieve accurate cuts and proper sizing.

Measuring the Mat

The first step in cutting the mat is to measure the inside dimensions of the frame. Use a measuring tape or ruler to determine the length and width of the space where the mat will fit. It’s important to measure carefully to ensure a snug fit for the mat and picture.

Marking the Mat

Once you have the measurements, mark them on the back of the mat using a pencil or pen. Use a straightedge or ruler to create straight lines for cutting. This will help guide your cuts and ensure the mat is cut to the correct size.

Cutting the Mat

Use a mat cutter or an X-ACTO knife to cut along the marked lines. Take your time and make slow, precise cuts to achieve clean edges. If you don’t have a mat cutter, you can use a metal ruler as a guide for straight cuts. Remember to always exercise caution when using sharp tools.

picture framing basics

Once the mat is cut to the correct size, you can move on to the next step of assembling your frame. Cutting and measuring the mat properly is crucial to achieving a polished and professional result in your picture framing project.

Mounting the Picture

Now that you have chosen the perfect mat and cut it to size, it’s time to mount your picture. This step ensures that your photo or artwork stays securely in place within the frame, allowing you to display it with pride.

To mount the picture, you will need a sturdy backing board, such as an archival foam core. Trim the board to fit inside the frame, ensuring that it covers the entire opening. Position your picture in the center of the mat and use photo corners or adhesive tape to attach it to the backing board. Take care to align the picture correctly, ensuring that it sits straight and centered.

Next, secure the mat and picture together by applying archival-grade adhesive tape to the edges of the back of the mat. This will hold everything securely in place, preventing any movement or slippage. Be sure to handle the picture and mat with clean hands to avoid smudging or damaging the artwork.

DIY Picture Framing Supplies

Remember, the quality of the materials you use for mounting is crucial to preserving your artwork. Investing in archival-grade adhesives and acid-free backing boards will ensure the longevity of your framed pieces. By following these steps, you’ll have a securely mounted picture that is ready to be placed into the frame.

Framing and Matting Tips: How to Frame and Matte Pictures

Assembling the frame is the final step in the process of framing and matting pictures. It involves carefully placing the mat and attached picture into the frame and securing it closed. To ensure a successful assembly, follow these tips:

  1. Prepare the frame: Start by cleaning the inner glass of the frame using a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints. This will ensure clear visibility and enhance the overall presentation of your framed picture.
  2. Position and center the mat: Place the mat and attached picture into the frame, making sure it is centered and positioned correctly. Use a ruler or measuring tape to ensure equal spacing on all sides.
  3. Secure the frame: Use the provided hardware, such as screws or clips, to secure the back of the frame closed. Make sure it is tightly sealed to prevent any movement or damage to the picture and mat inside.
  4. Hang the framed picture: If you plan to hang the framed picture on the wall, use a level to ensure it is straight. This will create a visually appealing display and prevent any crookedness.

Remember to avoid exposing the framed picture to direct sunlight or high-humidity areas, as this can cause UV damage and moisture-related issues. By following these simple tips, you can confidently assemble your frames and showcase your pictures and artwork in a professional and visually pleasing manner.

Framed pictures

Tips for Framing Valuable Artwork

If you have valuable artwork or heirloom photos that you want to frame, it’s important to take extra care to preserve their beauty and longevity. Here are some tips to help you frame your valuable pieces effectively:

Choose Acid-Free and Archival-Grade Materials

When framing valuable artwork, always opt for acid-free and archival-grade materials. These materials are designed to prevent deterioration and ensure the long-term preservation of your artwork. Acid-free mats and backing boards help protect against yellowing and discoloration, while archival-grade tapes and adhesives prevent damage to the artwork over time.

Use UV-Protective Glass or Acrylic

Exposure to sunlight can cause fading and UV damage to your valuable artwork. To protect your pieces, consider using UV-protective glass or acrylic in the frame. These materials block out harmful UV rays while allowing your artwork to be visible and enjoyed. Keep in mind that glass may provide a clearer view, while acrylic is lighter and less prone to breakage.

Frame with a Spacing Technique

Applying a spacing or floating technique when framing valuable artwork can add depth and dimension to the piece. This technique involves creating a small gap between the artwork and the glass, which prevents the artwork from sticking to the glass. Using archival-grade spacers or matting materials, you can achieve a professional and aesthetically pleasing look.

framed artwork

DIY Framing Projects: Unleash Your Creativity

When it comes to framing, the possibilities are endless. It’s not only about preserving photographs and artwork but also about showcasing your creativity and adding a personal touch to your space. With a little imagination and some simple materials, you can embark on a variety of DIY framing projects that will transform ordinary objects into unique and eye-catching displays.

One creative framing idea is to frame album covers. Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast or simply love the artwork, framing your favorite album covers can add a touch of nostalgia and personality to your walls. Choose frames that complement the size and style of the album covers, and don’t forget to use acid-free mats to protect them from damage.

Materials Needed Steps
1 Album cover 1. Take the album cover out of its sleeve.
2. Clean the cover with a soft cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints.
3. Place the album cover in a frame, making sure it fits snugly.
4. Secure the back of the frame.
2 Acid-free mat 1. Measure the album cover and cut the mat to size.
2. Place the mat on top of the album cover in the frame, allowing it to create a border.
3. Secure the back of the frame and hang it on the wall.

Another creative framing idea is to frame book pages. Whether it’s a favorite quote, an illustration, or a page from a vintage book, framing book pages can turn literature into art. Look for frames with a vintage or antique feel to enhance the charm of the pages. Experiment with different layouts and arrangements to create a visually appealing display.

“Framing isn’t limited to just traditional pictures and artwork. You can get creative and frame unique items such as album covers, book pages, or even vintage photographs.”

For those who love vintage photography, consider framing vintage photographs to create a captivating gallery wall. Look for old family photos, vintage postcards, or black and white snapshots that evoke a sense of nostalgia. Mix and match frames of different sizes and styles for an eclectic and visually interesting display.

Get inspired by these DIY framing projects and think outside the box when it comes to framing. From album covers to book pages to vintage photographs, let your creativity run wild and transform ordinary objects into extraordinary pieces of art.

DIY Framing Projects

Caring for Framed Artwork

Proper care and maintenance are essential to keep your framed artwork looking its best for years to come. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your framed pictures stay clean, protected, and in pristine condition.

Regular Cleaning

To maintain the appearance of your framed pictures, regular cleaning is necessary. Use a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any dust or dirt from the frame and glass surface. Avoid using chemical cleaners or abrasive materials, as they can damage the frames and artwork. If your frames have intricate detailing or delicate materials, it may be best to consult a professional cleaner.

Handling with Care

When handling framed artwork, it’s important to do so with clean hands and a gentle touch. Avoid touching the glass directly, as fingerprints and oils can leave permanent marks. Instead, hold the frame by the sides or use gloves to protect the artwork. If you need to move or transport the framed picture, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap to provide cushioning and protection.

Protecting from Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as sunlight and humidity can damage framed artwork over time. Avoid hanging your frames in direct sunlight, as exposure to UV rays can cause fading and deterioration. Similarly, high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens can result in moisture damage. To protect your framed pictures, choose a suitable location away from direct sunlight and humidity. Using UV-protective glass or acrylic can also help minimize the impact of sunlight.

By following these care tips, you can maintain the quality and appearance of your framed artwork, ensuring that it continues to bring joy and beauty to your space. With proper cleaning, gentle handling, and protection from environmental factors, your framed pictures will remain a cherished part of your home for years to come.

Conclusion

Framing and matting pictures can be a rewarding DIY project that allows you to showcase your creativity and preserve your cherished memories. By following the easy steps outlined in this guide, you can create professional-looking frames that enhance the beauty of your photos and artwork. Whether you’re framing valuable artwork or experimenting with DIY framing ideas, remember to choose high-quality materials and take proper care of your framed pieces to ensure their longevity. Start creating and framing today!

FAQ

What is the importance of choosing the right mat color?

The mat color helps to enhance the picture and create a professional finish. It should complement the colors in your photo and can be used to make the picture pop against a dark frame or draw attention to the photo itself.

How do I cut the mat to the correct size?

Measure the inside of the frame and mark the mat accordingly. Use a ruler and an X-ACTO knife to make precise cuts along the marked lines. If you don’t have a mat cutter, you can use a metal ruler as a guide for straight cuts.

How do I mount the picture?

Ensure you have a sturdy backing board, such as an archival foam core. Cut the mount board to fit inside the frame and position the picture in the center of the mat. Use photo corners or adhesive tape to attach the picture to the mount board and apply archival-grade adhesive tape to secure the mat and picture together.

How do I assemble the frame?

Clean the inner glass of the frame and place the mat and attached picture into the frame, ensuring it is centered and positioned correctly. Use the provided hardware to secure the back of the frame closed. If hanging the framed picture on the wall, use a level to ensure it is straight.

Should I consult a professional framer for valuable artwork?

For valuable artwork or heirloom photos, it may be worth consulting a professional framer who has access to specialized materials and techniques that can better preserve delicate pieces during framing.

Can I frame items other than traditional pictures and artwork?

Absolutely! You can get creative and frame unique items such as album covers, book pages, or vintage photographs. Repurposing old frames and creating custom mats can add a personal touch to your framing projects.

How should I care for framed artwork?

Regularly inspect and clean your framed artwork using a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to remove dust. Avoid using chemical cleaners that could damage the frames and artwork. Check for any signs of damage or wear, such as loose tape or deteriorating mats, and make necessary repairs or replacements.