Framing Tip #1
The style for mats right now is to use wide borders, staying neutral for the main mat, with a second mat in between having a color. Of course the Mona Lisa can have whatever mat she wants :> The mat holds the surface of a painting away from the glass.
Framing Tip #2
Wide Frames without a Mat
Not all art is matted. Oil paintings don’t use them – they typically have wider wood frames. In recent years, we’ve been seeing oil paintings with a linen “liner” on the inside of the frame to add a bit of white space instead of a mat.
We’ve also been seeing other media abandon the use of a traditional mat and frame, and instead use a wide frame without a mat. This mat-less presentation makes the piece look less like a print, and more like a serious piece of art. For delicate media such as pastel, a spacer may be used instead of a mat to keep the surface away from the glass.
Framing Tip #3
Use Conservation Grade Materials
Art can be badly damaged if conservation grade materials aren’t used. This painting’s original state is on the left. On the right, you can see the result after hanging for several years – both the painting and the mat faded. This fading would have been avoided if conservation-grade glass and matting had been used.
Framing Tip #4
Choosing the Right Frame
- Consider the room colors. How will it relate to the room? Does it blend? Would it be overpowering or underwhelming?
- Consider your art. Black and white images look great with white or black framing and mats. Art with less contrast looks best with less contrasted framing. Many paintings look best when you use secondary colors in the art for your matting and framing.
- Try different ideas – sometimes a modern piece looks great on a scrolly classic frame. Sometimes the opposite is true.