Proper Mat Size for Matting an Image

Framing involves many different aspects. Determining the proper mat size and mat opening for a print or photograph is one of the more confusing issues facing novice framers.

First, be sure you understand the two different measurements associated with a frame mat. There is the overall size of the mat, which is around the size of the inside of the frame. Then, there is the mat window measurement, which refers to the size of the opening in the mat through which the image shows.

Measure the Dimensions

To determine the general overall dimensions of the mat, measure the glazing size (size of the glass or acrylic) of the intended frame. If the glass fits inside the frame without too much wiggle room, it provides a good template for cutting the mat to its overall size. There is some room for error in cutting, since part of the frame will conceal smaller irregularities, but keep in mind there is only about a 1/8” margin of error before you start noticing imperfections in the framing job.

As for the size of the window in the mat, one simple general rule is that the opening should not be the same size as the print or photo. Cutting a mat to the exact dimensions of the outer border of a picture or photograph is almost impossible and it is nearly impossible to get them lined up perfectly.

Off- the- shelf pre-cut picture frames usually have mat boards with openings 1/2 an inch smaller than the intended picture size. For example, a 16×20 inch frame including a mat purchased for use with 11×14 prints or photographs will have an actual window opening somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 1/2 x 13 ½ inches. This results in the mat overlapping each side of the print by ¼ inch. A quarter of an inch does not sound like much on its own, but consider that it adds up since there are four sides on every mat.

Matting Techniques

float mountingAlthough allowing the mat to overlap the image is the most common matting technique, sometimes employing the practice of using a mat opening that is larger than the image, known as “float mounting”, works best. This matting technique prevents any masking of any part of the framed image. It is especially useful when the ability to view the artist’s signature or print data is desired.

There are several ways to accomplish this look, including using different overlap measurements on different edges of the work. Usually the side and top border measurements are between 1/4 to 1/2 inch and the bottom is expanded to reveal between 1/4 and 1 inch of the border. In most cases, the bottom dimensions of a mat are equal to the top and sides, but the presence of a signature changes all that. However, getting it right requires a little math along with some good measuring skills. Beyond that, another common mistake is to forget to double the border size when calculating the opening.

For example, if the signature is under 1/2 inch, then you can use 1/4 or 3/8 inch top and side borders and 1/2 inch bottom border. If the signature requires 3/4 inch, then you can use 1/2 top and side borders. In this case, the mat opening will be one inch larger than the image width, and 1 1/4 inches larger than the image height.

Sometimes drawing out a sketch prior to making any cuts helps better visualize your aims. Beyond that, never forget that the adage, “measure twice, cut once” does not just apply to woodworking.

Mats are integral parts of framing. Their color accents the framed item, setting it off to its best effect. Their composition ensures preservation of the item. However, mats serve other purposes. They provide a buffer layer between the artwork or photo and the frame glazing. Beyond that, the mat board helps keep the framed image flat within the frame, and adds another way to create a truly distinctive and unique framed look.

Frame Destination carries several varieties of mats, including 100% cotton, acid-free and lignin-free mats with solid color throughout, mats that trap and neutralize pollutants and acid by-products, and paper mat featuring white or cream cores. All mats from our shop feature larger windows than most store-bought mats, meaning more of the image showing through in a framed piece. All artwork below 20” on each side has mat windows cut ¼ of an inch smaller, which allows for just 1/8 of an inch overlap for each side. Opening for images 20” and larger on both sides are cut ½” smaller. The slightly enlarged cut out window still allows for sufficient coverage or overlap of any paper border around the image, thereby supporting the image, and negating any concerns about the color of the substrate the image is mounted against showing up in the completed framed item.

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49 thoughts on “Proper Mat Size for Matting an Image”

  • Trotter Hardy

    Hi. Just noticed something. Above, you say this: "All mats from our shop feature smaller windows than most store-bought mats, meaning more of the image showing through in a framed piece."
    I think you mean either "smaller BORDERS" or "LARGER windows," not "smaller windows." Otherwise, a very helpful explanation--thanks.

    Reply
  • Mark Rogers

    Thanks Trotter, you are correct the window is larger not smaller. Great catch!

    Reply
    • Ella Sherrard

      If I have a 10x13 frame and a 8x8 picture what size mat should I use

      Reply
      • Mark Rogers

        Ella that will result in very unequal mat borders.
        Artwork Size: 8" x 8"
        Mat Window Opening: 7 3/4" x 7 3/4"
        Frame Inside: 10" x 13"

        You could shift it to the top and have the top and side borders equal and large bottom border:
        Side 1-1/8", Top 1-1/8" , Bot 4-1/8

        Or you could center it:
        Side 1-1/8", Top 2-5/8" , Bot 2-5/8

        Reply
  • Tina Spry

    Hello
    If I have a image that is 8x8 what size frame and what size mat should I buy?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Tina, I would go with a 2 inch mat border for 12x12 frame such as this basic wood frame for $30:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1509807977404

      If you have space on your wall you can select the next size up which is 8x8 photo size and wood frame size of 16x16 with 4 inch borders that will provide more of a gallery frame look.

      Reply
  • Nancy

    If I am painting a water color to fit inside a 4 x 6 frame.
    What is the standard matt size to fit on picture? I was wondering because I want to paint the design to be just inside where matt will cover.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Nancy, that would be 3x5 but you might check on the actual mat board first. The opening has to be smaller than a 3x5 photo to help hold it down so the matte opening might be 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 or 2-3/4 x 4-3/4. At such as small size that difference might be an issue for the artwork image you are framing.

      Reply
  • Derrick Arnold st
    Derrick Arnold st December 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I have a 6X20 picture what size mat and picture frame is needed.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Derrick, I would use a mat with borders just over 2 inches at 2-1/8 inches
      Artwork Size: 6" x 20"
      Mat Window Opening: 5 3/4" x 19 3/4"
      Picture Frame Inside: 10" x 24"
      Picture Frame Outside: 11 1/8" x 25 1/8"

      Here is an example of a basic black wood picture frame with a white mat that would fit your 6x20 picture:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1512569131537

      You can easily change the mat color and frame on that page. You can also select a more archival mat like the Alphamat.

      Reply
  • Kim

    I have a 16 x 20 picture to frame what size mat and what size frame do you suggest? I’m not sure and you seem pro at this!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Kim, that is pretty large print so if you have the wall space I would do 4 inch borders. The mat will overlap the photo a little so mat window of 15 3/4" x 19 3/4, borders of 4-1/8 inches and a picture frame size of 24x28 inches.

      Reply
  • Linda Sorsby

    Could you suggest the best size mat to use for a print that is 29 X 39 with a sight size of 21.5 X 29.5? Thank you!

    Reply
  • Mark Rogers

    Hi Linda, assuming your print is 29 wide and 39 tall and you do not want to cut the print then I would suggest you make the side mat borders 4 inches and the top and bottom 5 inches. For a print that size I suggest you overlap the photo by 1/4 inch all 4 sides.
    Artwork Size: 21 1/2" x 29 1/2"
    Mat Window Opening: 21" x 29"
    Mat Outside: 29" x 39"

    With a print paper of 29 x 39 if you get a picture frame that is 29x39 then you do not need to mount it since they are the same size.

    Reply
    • Shyla

      Hi I have a painting that is 15x 21 signed by the artist on the bottton r hand corner. What would you suggest for a mat and a frame?

      Reply
      • Mark Rogers

        Shyla, style of frame and colors will be more up to you or you could take it to a custom frame shop to help design something to match the image and your decor. It is a custom size and we sell custom size frames. I could help you with the dimensions if you tell me the size of the image, the size of the paper, and if the signature is on the image or a white border below the image.

        Reply
  • Jenn

    HI there!

    If I have a 12x18 poster- what size matting should I use and then what size frame?

    thanks!

    Jenn

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Jean you can use 3 inch mat borders for a picture frame that is not too large. The frame size ends up being 18x24 if you use mat borders that are 3-1/8 inches.

      Artwork Size: 12" x 18"
      Mat Window Opening: 11 3/4" x 17 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 18" x 24"

      Here is an example of a black frame from us that size for less than $50
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1513104171045

      Reply
  • Ranae

    Mark,
    Need your advice to order two mats as I haven't done this before. Frame interior (glass size) 21 15/16" high x 18" wide and the print going in the frame is 16" high x 12" wide. Can you advise on the size to order?

    The second one I want to keep in a particular frame that is 16" high x 20" wide but the drawing has different visual space on top vs. the sides. The top has 2" of white space to the edge of the drawing, the bottom has 1 1/2" space to the signature line, and the sides have 1" space until drawing begins. What size of mat should I do?! Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Ranae, assuming you would like the mat to overlap the print by 1/8" on all 4 sides the first one would be:

      Artwork Size: 12" x 16"
      Mat Window Opening: 11 3/4" x 15 3/4"
      Mat Outside: 18" x 21 15/16"
      Side borders: 3-1/8"
      Top/Bot borders 3-3/32"

      On the 2nd one you might make the window opening 1/2 inch larger than the image on the top and sides to show some of the border. The bottom you make just large enough to show the signature. The other option is to cover the paper and borders. For that you would just make the window opening 1/4 inch smaller than the image size (not the paper size). To give you more info I would need the image size and the measurement from the bottom edge of the image to the bottom of the signature.

      Reply
  • Debbie Blecha

    Hello!!! I have a print that is 24 x 17.......and I would like the matting and frame to be something like 48 x 34 is this possible?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Sure that is possible Debbie! Most frame materials are made up to 32x40 so when you get above that size the selection goes down and the price goes up, especially the shipping cost. It still might be much less expensive to get it from an online company like ours then to have a custom frame shop do it for you. In our case you just select a frame and then customize the size. Enter artwork of 24x17 and I suggest you change the overlap of the mat from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch. Enter the picture frame size of 48x34 and the site will calculate the borders which will be pretty large at around 8 and 12 inches. Large mat borders like that give the picture frame a very strong gallery look and feel. It also really separates the artwork from the rest of the room. Be careful not to pick a top mat color that will distract from the art though. Here is an example I through together on our site. If you need the frame to be more archival you will want to change the mat and backing to acid-free and perhaps the acrylic to UV-filter. Also, it is more common even for custom frame shops to go with acrylic when the frame is over 32x40 since glass is so heavy.
      Wood picture frame example

      Reply
  • Craig

    How big of a mat should I use for framing a newpaper? The newspaper is 11" x 21"?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Craig, I assume this newspaper print is something memorable and you want to keep it for a while so I suggest a picture frame with archival framing with UV glass and acid free mat and mounting board. Because it is a long frame, you might like the mat side borders being a little smaller than top and bottom. I suggest 2-5/8 for side mat borders and 3-1/8 inch for the top and bottom mat borders. I suggest you have the mat overlap the newspaper 1/4 inch on each side the window would be 10-1/2 by 20-1/2. I also suggested a photo white mat which is not as bright as normal white mat.

      Here is an example complete picture frame with a simple brown wood profile:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1517326684157

      Artwork Size: 11" x 21"
      Mat Window Opening: 10 1/2" x 20 1/2"
      Frame Inside: 16" x 27"

      Reply
  • John

    I have a photo the measures 16 and a half wide by 9 and a quarter high. What would be an appropriate size mat?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      John, if you go with equal 3 inch borders, and you are ok with just 1/8 inch overlap on each side: Mat Window Opening: 16 1/4" x 9", Mat Outside: 19 1/2" x 13 1/4"

      Reply
  • Carlos Rojas Álvarez
    Carlos Rojas Álvarez May 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Mark,

    I have two original Picasso and Degas lithographs (10 X 14 inches and 9.5 X 15.5 inches, respectively) that I want framed in thick frames (3" frame for the 10 X 14, and 2 3/8" frame for the 9.5 X 15.5 inches). With plenty of wall space, what sized matting do you recommend for these works of art?

    Best,
    CAR

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Carlos, in general the mat should be at least 1.5 times the size of the frame to keep it from over powering the artwork. For example, for a 3 inch frame you should have borders that are at least 4.5 inches and perhaps 5 inches at the bottom if you want to bottom weight it.

      Reply
      • Sue

        Do you recommend the 1.5 rule for all size framing? I have been commissioned to draw a picture that the overall size to be 35" wide by 29" high which includes the frame. I believe she wants to frame it with a frame around 2" or 2.5" up to 3" wide. (She is not certain at this point). I will be drawing with charcoal on paper. Since there will be quite a bit of negative space on the paper, the artwork size is not too strict.

        Reply
        • Mark Rogers

          Sue there are no hard rules, just guidelines. If you leave white space on the paper around the image that will do the same thing as the mat but I would suggest you not make the mat less than 2 inches. If you are tempted to go less than 2 inches I would consider eliminating the mat altogether and using a spacer if you are concerned about longevity.

          Reply
  • Neshia

    Hello, I could really use your help, I bought this framed picture b/c I like the frame. It's an oversize frame 60x40 with a double matted picture in it. I like the double matting but unfortunately it's not the colors I need. So, I need to buy new matting and a new print. If the frame is 60x40 and I want to double matte it, what size print and matting do I need to buy?

    Thank you,

    Reply
  • tammy

    I want to mat and frame a 12x12 picture. what size matt and frame would I need to frame it myself without spending a lot of money. thanks.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      The least expensive will be the smallest with just 1-1/2 inch borders and decorative mat. Something like this:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1525883060445

      Reply
  • Mike

    I would like to matte and frame fine art posters that are commonly sized at 18" x 12". This doesn't seem to be a typical "off-the-shelf" size. What size matte/frame should I be considering?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      It is a standard size for FrameDestination.com and we offer volume discounts. Your other option is to use a mat from our company to change the size to a standard frame the you get any frame, although it will be larger and therefore most costly.

      Reply
  • Hilliard

    Hey Mark, we have two over-sized photography pieces that we are trying to frame with matting. The art is 42" x 56" and I'd like to do a 5-6" mat. Where can we purchase over-sized mat and framing? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Hilliard, I am afraid that is a little large for companies like us. Most mat board is only made to a max size of 40x60 inches, although there a couple of places make one or two colors in 48x96 inches. Even if you find a place to do it online, it will require very expensive freight shipping and mounting images that large can be tricky. I suggest you go to a custom framer. They can get the large sheets, and they can also make large mats from multiple sheets so you will have some color choices. I recommend you find a certified framer and you can check here for one:
      https://ppfadirectory.com/ If you still have trouble, let me know what city you are in and I can check my sources.

      Reply
  • Sharon

    Hi
    I want a 12/18 frame what's the standard matting for that size frame. I want the matting to be a little wider than normal. What size should I make the picture for the matting.
    Sharon

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Sharon, 12x18 is a common digital image size, but not a standard frame size, although we sell that frame size for 6x12 images which results in a 3 inch mat border all the way around.

      Reply
  • PATRICK J LEONARD
    PATRICK J LEONARD July 21, 2018 at 5:46 am

    I would like to frame a movie poster and hang it in my living room. I want everyone to see it without it being overly enormous. What size poster should I order to get matted?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Patrick, if you want the cost to remain reasonable I would not go larger than 20x30 poster. If you go much larger the frame might end up being larger than 32x40 which makes the cost go up a lot for a few different reasons.

      Reply
  • Christina

    I have a poster that is 24x33. What size matting and frame would be best?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Christina, I would go with 2-1/2 inch borders to keep the frame under 32x40 inches unless you want to pay a lot of money.
      Artwork Size: 24" x 33"
      Mat Window Opening: 23 1/2" x 32 1/2"
      Frame Inside: 28 3/4" x 37 3/4"

      Reply
  • Jim Anderson

    I have 10x15 litho. What’s my best approach regarding mat & frame size?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      That is a fairly common size now. On our site you can get a mat with external size of 16x20 and buy an off the shelf frame. However, 10x15 matted to 16x21 is a standard frame size from us with equal 3 inch borders all the way around.

      Reply
  • ile

    I have a sketch on a 6 x 9 paper size. what size of mat would I need?
    standard 5x7 is too small and covers too much of the sketch borders, however 8x10 is way too big...…
    how can I mat this sketch?

    Reply
  • Lori

    I have a 24 x 18 inch print. What size mat (outer and window), do I need?

    Reply
  • Sabrina

    I have a 5 x 14 print. What size mat and frame would be best? Thanks!

    Reply
  • Lou Chapman

    It's great you provide answers like this. I'm a photographer. A client as a 24x48 frame they want to put one of my horizontal photos in. What size image would you recommend (or, in other words, what width of mat)? thanks

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Lou, I would go with about a 4-1/4 inch border. If cropping on your image is an issue you can alter one pair of borders by an inch. For example make the sides 3 or 5 while top and bottom remain 4 or vice versa. Making borders 1//4 inch larger so an image of 16x40 would have a mat overlap of 1/4 inch on all 4 sides.

      Artwork Size: 16" x 40"
      Mat Window Opening: 15 1/2" x 39 1/2"
      Picture Frame Inside: 24" x 48"
      Picture Frame Outside: 25 1/8" x 49 1/8"

      Reply
  • Bob Koure

    Hi Mark,
    I print with a Canon Pixma Pro 100, which can print on 13x19 sheets. I know I need at least 1/8" for mat overlap, but I think I'd have better luck with 1/4" which leaves me with 12.5x18.5 image.
    Looking at area proportions (231 sq" for image, 201 sq" of mat or 87%), Going on the 100% theory, I'd guess I can use an 18x24 frame and not look super out of proportion.
    What do you think? Do I need to go up a frame size or two? I'm a photographer and, as you might imagine, I'm out of wall space

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Bob, that will still be 2.5" borders all the way around. You could go custom on our site with 2 inch borders and it would still be ok. I would not suggest going lower although there are no hard rules. Keep in mind if mat window opening is 12.5x18.5 you want the image to be at least 12.75 x 18.75 so you overlap 1/8 inch of the image. Mat overlap is not just to hold the picture down. If you dont want to crop then make the image smaller and show white paper border around it, typically at least 1/4 inch all 4 sides.

      Reply
  • Kelly

    Hello, I am trying to have one of my daughter's photographs matted and framed for her, but am unsure of what size mat opening and frame to get. The printed image is 16 x 24. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Kelly we have two standard sizes on our site.
      2 inch mat border for a smaller frame and lower cost:
      Artwork Size: 16" x 24"
      Mat Window Opening: 15 3/4" x 23 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 20" x 28"
      Frame Outside: 21 1/8" x 29 1/8"

      Or 4 inch border for more of a gallery look and larger overall frame:
      Artwork Size: 16" x 24"
      Mat Window Opening: 15 3/4" x 23 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 24" x 32"
      Frame Outside: 25 1/8" x 33 1/8"

      Reply
  • Mike

    Water color painting is 16x16 should i get a 4 inch mat? 20x20 frame?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      It depends on the size of the frame, the amount of space on your wall and how much you want to spend. A 4 inch mat would result in a 24x24 inch picture frame. In general at least 3 inch mat border is common for that size but a 4 inch will give it more of a gallery look and help set the artwork off from the frame and the rest of the wall more.

      Reply
  • Chris

    Hi Mark. Our wedding vows are on a 24.25” x 20.25” print and I’m looking to have them matted and framed. What size mat opening and frame would you recommend?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Chris, generally for mats that size you want the opening to be 1/2 inch larger so it will overlap the print by 1/4 inch on all 4 sides. If the vows are closer than 1/4 inch to the edge of the print you will have to try 1/4 inch larger so it only overlaps 1/8 of inch or do a what is called a float mount which is probably better to get a custom framer to take care of. If you do 1/2 inch smaller and 3 inch mat borders the dimensions for a mat and frame on our site will be:

      Artwork Size: 24 1/4" x 20 1/4"
      Mat Window Opening: 23 3/4" x 19 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 30" x 26"
      Frame Outside: 30 1/4" x 26 1/4"

      Reply
  • Leslie

    Mark, I have an unusual panoramic photo that is 8" by 18" wide. What size mat should I use assuming a standard "bottom weight" for the photo. It is a night-time lightning photo that I took. I would like to float mount the photo. Thank you for your courtesy and time.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Leslie, since it is only 8 inches tall I would stick with the 1/8 inch overlap to show more of the photo and 1/4 inch bottom weight:
      Artwork Size: 18" x 8"
      Mat Window Opening: 17 3/4" x 7 3/4"
      Mat Outside: 22" x 12 1/4"
      Borders
      2 1/8" Top
      2 1/8" Sides
      2 3/8" Bottom

      Reply
  • connie somers

    Hi Mark, My pictures are 5x9 should I get the same size mat and if so what size frame should I get. Thanks

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      The mat opening needs to be a little smaller so it holds the artwork down and you dont see the edge of the photo slipping out on one side. If you go with 2 inch borders the frame would be 9 x 13
      Artwork Size: 5" x 9"
      Mat Window Opening: 4 3/4" x 8 3/4"
      Mat Outside: 9" x 13"

      Reply
  • Gale Schwartz

    I want to purchase a piece of orginal art (oil painting) that is currently framed and shows 18" x 36" of the painting (which I assume to be the whole painting). I had wanted art for a space between two wall sconces and wanted to find a piece of art that would cover 36-40" in height and 60" wide.

    How much matting and frame can go around this size painting to give it more presence in this space, or is this too big a space for a small art piece?

    Reply
  • Franchesca Judd

    Hi! I have a piece that it 5.5 x 10.5 in. The frame sizes I have in mind are 11x17, 12-18, or 16x20. I’d like the result to be a gallery look, so I would guess that the 16x20 would achieve that look. Would that be too big for the piece? What sized frame would you recommend, and what would the corresponding measurements of the mat board be?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      If you are going for a gallery look I think the 16x20 would be a powerful statement.
      Artwork Size: 5 1/2" x 10 1/2"
      Mat Window Opening: 5 1/4" x 10 1/4"
      Frame Inside: 16" x 20"
      Frame Outside: 17 5/8" x 21 5/8"

      You can see an example frame in this size here:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1543244917107
      This picture frame includes glass, acid free mat and backing and a tall gallery style frame in black or white.
      This is the frame:
      https://www.framedestination.com/picture-frames/wood/wood-frame-profile-s24.html

      Reply
  • Nancy

    I have a wonderful Victorian print to frame as a gift for Christmas.
    The length is 13 1/4 " and the width is 10 1/4 "
    What size mat should I get and any suggestions on color would be really appreciated.
    At the link below is a picture of the print I wish to frame.

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/antique-victorian-print-suffer-little-424274556

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Nancy, I am not a custom framer, but I can give you my guess. Here are the sizes for a 16x20 frame:
      Artwork Size: 10 1/4" x 13 1/4"
      Mat Window Opening: 10" x 13"
      Frame Inside: 16" x 20"
      Frame Outside: 19 23/40" x 23 23/40"

      For the mats, you might consider a double mat where the bottom is green like the green in the print and top mat is a tan color. Here is an example. You can take a photo of the image and upload it into this page for a preview. Just click on "choose file" under artwork size.
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1543245780879

      Reply
  • Jay

    The outside dimension of my off-white mat was undercut by about 1/8th inch all around leaving a small gap between the mat and the gold-colored frame. Any tricks for avoiding changing out the mat or frame?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Jay, if you got it from Frame Destination be sure to contact customer support. Usually the mat should be about 1/8 inch smaller than the inside edge of the frame so it does not bind. The lip of the frame should overlap it so it should look just fine. If it is so much smaller than frame you can see gap from the front then I would take back to the place you purchased it from.

      Reply
  • Nikki

    6x9" drawing looking to frame and have a little matt with. What would you recommend?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Nikki, if you go with a custom mat this size, you can put in a standard certificate frame as long as the frame is thick enough to hold the mat:
      Artwork Size: 6" x 9"
      Mat Window Opening: 5 3/4" x 8 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 8 1/2" x 11"

      Reply
  • C. Washington

    Hello! I have a Degree/College Diploma. The measurements are 14" H 17"W
    Not sure how to order frame with matt.
    Please help!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      We have some pre-configured diploma picture frames here:
      https://www.framedestination.com/picture-frames/diploma-frames.html
      We do not have on in your size, but just find one you like and click "Customize this Frame" then on the other page under #2 Frame Size and Matting just select "11x17 Artwork / 18x24 Frame" under popular sizes. If you want less expensive you can change the glass to regular glass in the Glass/Acrylic section and select Crescent Select 4-ply or Papermat under Mat Options towards the top. You can also make the frame a little smaller with the "11x17 Artwork / 16x20 Frame" but the borders are less equal. Look at the preview to see if the borders are ok.

      Reply
  • Pat

    Hi Mark, I purchased a print of a sports stadium, 24”x14.875” image. I would like to use a thin, black metal frame in a standard size frame. What size twould you recommend for the mat? Thanks so much, Pat

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Pat, I am assuming it is horizontal and so I thought it might look good to make the side borders a little wider so the frame it self is more panoramic. I selected a small black frame and acid free mat and backing. The image is large so I suggest 1/4 inch overlap of the image to make sure it is held down by the mat. Check it out:
      https://www.framedestination.com/customize/index/index/edit_id/1544409007495

      Reply
  • Greidy Puig

    Could you suggest best frame and mat size for a 22x28 picture?

    Reply
  • Randi T.

    Hi, I have a print that is 18 x 24. What size frame & mat would I need? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Randi, if you go with even 3 inch mat borders it would be:
      Artwork Size: 18" x 24"
      Mat Window Opening: 17 1/2" x 23 1/2"
      Frame Inside: 23 1/2" x 29 1/2"
      Frame Outside: 24 5/8" x 30 5/8"

      Reply
  • Wilson

    Awesome Mark that you've supported this article with replies for 5 years. I'm in northern Indiana, wish you were close. My quandary is I have an 11 x 14 print, and I'll be using a frame opening of 16 x 20 (glass size). I make my frames and typically the width of the frame rails is 2". First easy math says I have 1" difference in margin from frame to print (16-11 = 5" and 20-14 = 6"). Doesn't that mean my mat borders for the length will be .5" wider than width? Will this look odd? Also, knowing I'll have at least 5" of mat border, what width do you think I should make my frame rails (2" seems too narrow). And finally, if you were to double mat, what opening would you select for each?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Wilson, did not realize it had been 5 years! We ship most of our orders and sometimes have free shipping specials for newsletter subscribers. Sometimes our newsletter discounts are more than shipping would be also. Yes, there are millions of 16x20 frames out there for 11x14 images and they all have unequal borders. Hardly anyone notices and sometimes unequal borders will be done on purpose by a custom framer. We sell both versions for 11x14 photos in 16x20 or 17x20 picture frame. Width of frame is up to you. For a 16x20 the range of frames sold go from less than 1/4 inch to 4 inches although I would rarelly go less than 1/2 inch or more than 3 inches so 2 is common. Off the shelf frame mat will be 1/2 inch smaller but for images that size I so need to cover that much of the picture. We default to 10-3/4 x 13-3/4 for the bottom mat board and 11 1/4" x 14 1/4 for the top. Top mat being 1/2 inch larger so it is showing 1/2" of the bottom mat all the way around. If you go into our build a frame page you can play with the settings and get all these numbers and a preview. Place the picture frame in the cart to see all the dimensions on all the mats.

      Reply
  • Scott

    I am placing four (4) framed and matted photos side by side on one wall. The photos will all be 8" h x 12" w. The frames will be plain, square frames with 1" borders. I would like what I believe you refer to as a "gallery" look (a large amount of mat all around the photo) using a double white mats. My signature will be on one of the mats. I would like your recommendation on the best size of the borders for each of the mats. Would it be better aesthetically to have the top and bottom borders larger than the sides to make a more square look? Also should the signature be on the inside mat or outside mat? Thank you for your assistance.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Scott, I would go with at least 3-1/2 inch borders, but 4 inch might give you more of a gallery feel. Instead of a double mat, have you considered an 8-ply mat?
      https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/mat-board/crescent-select-conservation-solid-8ply.html
      https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/mat-board/crescent-8ply-ragmat-museum.html
      They have a very deep bevel offering a very unique look. Not sure about your other questions, that is getting more into aesthetic design than I have training for.

      Reply
  • Lori

    I have a 10 x 13 portrait that I would like to frame with a mat. What size mat and frame do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Lori, that is close to 11x14 so you could just use a mat to make it standard 16x20 picture frame size:
      Artwork Size: 10" x 13"
      Mat Window Opening: 9 3/4" x 12 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 16" x 20"

      Reply
  • camille

    Hi,
    Can you give me the correct sizes for a mat and frame for a watercolor painting; artwork dimensions are 22"w x 30" tall? it is painted on watercolor paper

    thank you so much!
    Camille Marzion

    Reply
  • Walker Andy

    Hi - I purchased a stellar mixed media drawn piece of fine art through auction. It is horizontal in orientation and has been worked to the edge on all sides, including the signature on the lower right hand corner. The work is a whopping 36” x 32” in dimension. I am thinking that a float mount would best suit the piece and I love amply robust matte borders. However, the concern I have is - Would going 4” and weighting the bottom at 5” be too much? I’m actually pushing the limits of standard matte board.

    How might something like this look floating on mounting board with a 1/4” reveal between the art and the interior bevel of the matte? Im thinking a simple 4 or 8 ply white matte, so as not to detract from the work. I have a pic of the work if that helps. Thank you. -Andy

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Walker, if you go owith 1/4 inch reveal and 3-3/4 inch borders you end up with the max size you can get out of 40x60 mat board which is the largest my company carries:
      Artwork Size: 36" x 32"
      Mat Window Opening: 36 1/2" x 32 1/2"
      Frame Inside: 44" x 40"

      There is 4x8 foot mat board that would allow you to go larger, but that would have to be done through a high end custom frame shop. Or you could possibly go with a frame shop that can does not have large mats and equipment but is crafty and can splice a couple mats together. In either case you are looking at a very expensive frame job. Regardless, since you need to float mount the artwork, that requires some skill, and if the art of valuable and you also want it conservatively (archival) mounted, the is also skilled. In short, I would suggest you strongly consider allowing a custom framer to handle this for you to ensure it is done right. Do not take it to Michael's or Hobby Lobby especially if you want it conservatively framed.

      Reply
      • Walker Andy

        Thank you so much, Mark! Your response was not only immensely swift, it was very helpful to my cause. We will be in touch! Kind regards, Andy

        Reply
  • Mary Ann

    I have a 16x20 picture I would like to mat and frame. Could you please tell me what size mat and frame I would need.

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Hi Mary Ann, it only uses 2 inch mat borders, but the next standard size picture frame is 20x24:
      Artwork Size: 16" x 20"
      Mat Window Opening: 15 3/4" x 19 3/4"
      Frame Inside: 20" x 24"

      Reply
  • Christine Nunziato Bonenfant
    Christine Nunziato Bonenfant January 13, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Hi,
    I have a 24 x 32 inch map to frame. What is the smallest size mat and frame I should use?

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Christine, I would do at least 2 inch mat borders, and at 2-1/4 it will be an even frame size and you will have a full 2 inches of mat border visible:
      Artwork Size: 24" x 32"
      Mat Window Opening: 23 1/2" x 31 1/2"
      Frame Inside: 28" x 36"

      In this case, the mat will cover 1/4 inch on all 4 sides, so if that is no ok, the mat window will need to be larger and the map will need to be float mounted.

      Reply
  • Cat

    Hi! I have a 60x90 frame that I would like to print a wedding photo for. Looks like I will have to get a 18x24 photo printed. Will the large borders looks silly with the matting? Alternatively, do I get a 23x33 photo and have it cropped by the matting? Hope this makes sense.. so what I would like to know, what size matting will look best in my frame, it is a large photo with background so I am happy to have part of it covered under the matting if it will look better in the frame. Kind regards, Cat

    Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Cat I do not have experience with mat borders that large and most mat board is only 40x60, but my guess is you will want a larger image. The mat will cost a lot so you might as spend more on the printing to go larger if it is high enough resolution. I would check with a custom framer that can do mats that large.

      Reply

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