How-to: measure up your art for mount board (plus lots more about mounting)

Written by chris pink on January 16, 2014 in Picture Framing

Mount board (also known as matting) is surely one of the greatest tools at the picture framer’s disposal. Acting as the ideal transition between art-work and surrounding décor, mounting is versatile and can achieve a number of effects. It’s more or less essential for watercolours, and a good idea for many other types of art as well.

In this week’s how-to blog post, we’re going to show you how to measure your art so that our framers can create the ideal mount. Along the way we’ll elaborate on the choice of mount board available, discover new textures and explore other intriguing options. So, with no further ado…

How to get the dimensions needed

First you need to decide how much of the picture you would like to see in the aperture. Do you want to see the entire piece, or would the painting benefit from being scaled down slightly? Mounting is a master of hiding empty white space, or cutting to the finest of edges so that it looks as crisp as can be (saying that, we’d advise you don’t cut too fine, or else your piece might fall through). When measuring-up, you’ll also want to consider the signature – don’t chop it off!

How to measure your piece for mounting, illustration 2

The width of the mount will determine how big the frame is going to be

Some pictures look excellent with wide mounts, and traditionally, many picture framers like to make the bottom mount one or two centimetres wider than the top and sides. When considering the overall size of your mount – and, in turn, the overall aperture of the size of the frame – you’ll need to be aware of how much space you’ll have available for the picture. Our advice would be to never compromise on the width of the mount to make it small enough to fit in the bathroom. Instead, to do the piece justice, it’d probably be a better idea to keep the picture the proper size and find a more suitable place for it.

How to measure up your piece for mount board, illustration

 Textures, bright colours and further mount board options

Thought mount board only came in eggshell, black and white? We can get hold of pretty much any colour, and we specialise in matching the colour of a photograph or painting with the surrounding mount. Texture is also more varied than many people realise – mount board is available in everything from smooth to rough, with lines, textures, white and black core. Some even come with gilded lines, so there’s plenty to choose from and it’s highly unlikely you will ever run out of options.

 Don’t forget about double mounts and multiple-window mounts!

Double mounts look great. A popular format is a painting or photograph with a lot of white in, which we then mount with around 0.5cm of dark mount on the inside, and a pale mount on the outside. Triple-mounting is also possible, as are multiple-window mounts within the same frame.

If you’re going in for a double mount, remember that the mount which will cut closest to the image is the inner mount, and this is the one which – with very few exceptions – needs to be darker. This may sound blindingly obvious, but picture framing is rife with embarrassed framers who have measured-up double mounts wrong!

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