What Is a Picture Frame Mat? Enhancing Your Art and Memories

When it comes to showcasing cherished memories, artwork, or photographs, selecting the perfect picture frame is only part of the equation. Often overlooked but equally important is the picture frame mat. Picture frame mats are slender, rectangular pieces of acid-free material that rest between the artwork and the frame. With a window-like opening in the center, they provide a visually appealing border, enhancing the presentation of the piece. Picture frame mats come in an assortment of colors, textures, and thicknesses, offering a customizable touch to suit individual preferences.

Not only do these mats provide an aesthetic advantage, but they also serve a practical purpose. By acting as a protective barrier between the artwork and the glazing, they help shield the piece from potential damage caused by moisture or contact with the frame. Moreover, picture frame mats add depth and dimension to the overall display, capturing attention and lending a touch of sophistication. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of picture frame mats, their benefits, and how they can elevate your framed artwork or photographs to new heights of elegance and professionalism.

 What is a Picture Frame Mat?

A picture frame mat, also known simply as a mat or matting, is a flat, thin, and typically rectangular piece of material that sits between the artwork and the frame. It consists of a window-like opening in the center, through which the artwork is visible. Picture frame mats are commonly made from acid-free materials such as paper or fabric and are available in various colors, textures, and thicknesses.

The Purpose of Picture Frame Mats:

Picture frame mats serve several purposes when it comes to enhancing the presentation and protection of your artwork. Firstly, they provide a visual buffer between the artwork and the frame, creating a defined space around the piece. This helps draw attention to the artwork while providing a professional and finished appearance.

Secondly, picture frame mats offer protection to the artwork. By acting as a barrier between the artwork and the glazing (glass or acrylic) in the frame, they help prevent direct contact, reducing the risk of damage caused by moisture, condensation, or sticking to the glazing.

In addition to their protective function, picture frame mats add depth and dimension to the overall presentation of the artwork. By creating a separation between the artwork and the frame, they add visual interest, making the piece stand out and capturing the viewer's attention.

Benefits of Using Picture Frame Mats:

There are several benefits to using picture frame mats in your framing design. Firstly, mats enhance the overall appearance of framed artwork by providing a refined and polished look. They add sophistication and elegance to the piece, making it more visually appealing.

Furthermore, picture frame mats offer a range of customization options. By choosing different colors, sizes, and textures, you can tailor the mat to suit your artwork and personal style. Custom mats can be precisely cut to fit specific frame sizes and dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit and a cohesive presentation.

Using acid-free mats is also beneficial for preserving your artwork. These mats are designed to be archival, meaning they are resistant to discoloration, fading, or deterioration over time. By using acid-free mats, you can ensure the longevity of your framed pieces and protect them from environmental factors that may cause damage.

Picture frame mats are versatile and can be used for various types of framed items. They are not limited to traditional artwork but can also be used for framing photographs, certificates, documents, or even memorabilia. Mats provide a flexible solution for displaying different items while maintaining a professional and cohesive look.


Picture frame mats are an often-underestimated element in the art of framing. They offer both aesthetic and protective benefits, enhancing the overall appearance of artwork while safeguarding it from potential damage. With an array of customization options available, mats provide the flexibility to tailor your framing design to suit your personal style and the artwork's requirements. So, the next time you're framing a photograph or a cherished piece of art, consider the added elegance and professionalism that a carefully chosen picture frame mat can bring.