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What Is Mat Board Used For?

June 10, 2024

mat board photo framing perth

What is Mat Board Used For? Enhancing Your Framed Artwork with Professional Touches

When framing artwork or photos, the details matter. One often overlooked yet crucial component is the mat board. But what exactly is a mat board used for? Let's delve into the purpose of mat boards in framing, their benefits, and how professional framing services use mat boards to elevate the visual appeal of your framed pieces.

What is a mat board?

A mat board, sometimes referred to as a mat or mount, is a thin, flat piece of material placed between the artwork or photograph and the frame. It serves both functional and aesthetic purposes, creating a window that showcases the artwork within.

Mat boards have been used in framing for centuries. Initially, they were purely functional, intended to protect delicate artworks from direct contact with the glass. Over time, however, their role evolved, and mat boards became an integral part of the visual presentation, enhancing the overall appearance of framed items.

What is the purpose of mat boards?

Barrier between glass

A matboard serves as a barrier, ensuring that the artwork or photograph does not come into direct contact with the glass. This is especially important for framing glossy photographs, as they can adhere to the glass and risk damage when removed.

Visual enhancement

Mat boards are also used to enhance the visual appeal of the framed item. They add depth and focus, drawing the viewer's eye towards the artwork. The right mat board can complement the colours and style of the piece, making it stand out even more.

mat board photo framing

What are the benefits of using mat boards?


Mat boards play a role in preserving artwork and photos when combined with a frame. Acid-free and archival-quality mat boards offer additional protection, ensuring that your artwork remains in pristine condition for years to come.


Mat boards significantly enhance the aesthetics of framed items. They can be used to create contrast, highlight specific elements, or blend seamlessly with the artwork. With various colours, textures, and thickness options available, mat boards offer endless possibilities for customisation.


One of the key benefits of mat boards is their customisability. Professional framers can cut mat boards to any size and shape, creating unique and personalised frames. Whether you want a simple, classic look or something more elaborate, mat boards allow for complete creative freedom.

Why mat boards should be left to the professionals

Expertise and precision

Professional framers, such as Portfolio Picture Framers, possess the expertise and precision required to select and cut mat boards perfectly. Our team understands the nuances of different matboard materials and how to match them with various types of artwork. This ensures that your framed pieces not only look stunning but are also well-protected.

If you try to cut a mat board yourself, you risk making inaccurate cuts, damaging your artwork, using inappropriate materials, achieving inconsistent quality, wasting time and resources, and missing out on professional creative enhancements.

mat board options perth

Customisation options

We offer a wide range of customisation options for mat boards. From choosing the perfect colour and texture to deciding on the width and shape of the mat, we can tailor every aspect to suit your preferences and the specific needs of your artwork or photograph.

Mat board ideas

Think of a valued family photo or your favourite piece of art. When framed with a thoughtfully selected mat board, these items can be transformed. The mat board can highlight key colours, add depth, and make the overall presentation more cohesive and visually appealing. 

For example, a white mat board creates a clean, modern look, while a richly coloured mat adds warmth and elegance. You can also choose mat board colours that pick up accent colours from the image or artwork for an eye-catching effect.

The width of the matboard is an important factor to consider. Our team will provide professional recommendations on the ideal width for your artwork or photograph, taking into account the size of the piece. If the matboard is too wide, the artwork can appear lost, while a matboard that is too narrow can cause the piece to blend into the frame. Our team is here to provide the ideal visually balanced matboard solution based on the piece you are getting framed. 

We also offer the option of using a double matboard, allowing you to incorporate two colours—such as a neutral tone paired with an accent colour. This technique can further highlight the colours within your artwork and make your piece stand out beautifully.

It's also crucial to consider the design of the frame against the chosen mat board to ensure they complement each other.


DIY vs. professional framing

While DIY framing might seem like a cost-effective option, it often comes with significant challenges. Cutting mat boards requires precision and skill, and achieving a perfect fit can be difficult without professional tools and experience. Additionally, DIY framers may struggle to select the right materials, resulting in a final product that looks amateurish and fails to protect the artwork adequately.

Professional custom framing services provide undeniable value. With quality materials and expert craftsmanship, professional framers ensure that your artwork is beautifully presented and well-protected. Our team can offer advice on the best mat boards to use, ensuring that the finished product enhances the artwork's visual appeal and longevity.

mat boards

Give your pieces the professional touch

For a lasting, professional look, leave the mat board cutting, mounting, and framing to the experts. Portfolio Picture Framers, your friendly local family-run framers, are ready to provide high-quality custom framing solutions tailored to your needs. 

Whether you're framing a treasured family photo or a valuable piece of art, our professional services will ensure your pieces are beautifully presented and well-protected. Contact us today to consult with our framing experts and discover the difference that professional framing can make.

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