Art Framing: Why Your Mat Color Matters

The frame itself is only part of the consideration when it comes to displaying your work or that of others. One of the most important factors of art framing is making sure you pick the right color mat for your painting. If the painting is not going to stretch to full the entire frame, you…

The frame itself is only part of the consideration when it comes to displaying your work or that of others. One of the most important factors of art framing is making sure you pick the right color mat for your painting. If the painting is not going to stretch to full the entire frame, you need to think about what the background will look like. Color is a big part of that. The right color can make your painting spark with life, while the wrong one will make even the best painting look like an eyesore. Here are some things to think about.

Light and Dark

Do not forget to take the color of your walls into consideration when choosing your mat. A dark mat is going to stand out in contrast to white walls, and the same is true for the opposite. If you match dark to dark, however, you could wind up with a painting that simply blends into the wall. Without that is the effect you're going for, you want to think about setting up a contrast. It does not have to be stark, but you will want a delineation. While those experienced in art framing can begin experimenting with all the colors of the rainbow, it's best for beginners to start with black and white, as these will allow the piece to speak for itself.

Matching Colors

If you throw on a pair of blue pants, you do not want to put on an orange shirt. You want to wear an outfit that matches, while not drowning in a monotone color system. The same is true when it comes to art framing. If you're going to go beyond black and white, neutral colors, you want to make sure you are matching not only the painting, but also the walls. This does not need to be overt, but you should make sure there is not going to be a mismatch that will hurt the eyes. It's also not a good idea to try and outdo the painting itself. You do not want a mat color that will outshine the colors in the piece.

Experiment

After you've gotten the basic fundamentals down, feel free to experiment and have some fun. Art framing should not stifle your creativity. You should find ways to work within the basic guidelines while still expressing yourself. If you work with a good shop, you will find hundreds of ideas that you may never have thought of on your own. Use their expertise and wisdom to make sure that your paintings are displayed in the best possible way.