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How Thick Should the Mat Be for Framed Art? May 9, 2019

Waikiki, Honolulu
How Thick Should the Mat Be for Framed Art?, Honolulu, Hawaii

When it comes to framed art, the mat plays a major role in the overall look of the finished piece. Its color, thickness, and alignment will all affect the visual impact of the work. To help you choose the right mat for the piece of framed art, consider the following factors. 

The Size of the Work 

Professionals recommend opting for a mat between two to four inches for the traditional framed art look. Larger pieces should have thicker mats, while smaller works should have thinner ones. If you choose a four-inch mat on a fairly small piece, the border will overpower the art. On the other hand, selecting a two-inch mat to frame a massive work will fail to draw the eyes to the piece.

The Width of the Frame

framed artAs a general rule, the mat should be at least twice as wide as the frame. If the mat is roughly as wide as the frame, the two components will blend together and distract from the beauty of the piece. If the frame is considerably wider than the mat, it will dominate the borders and prevent the viewer from getting fully immersed in the actual artwork.

The Location of the Piece 

If you’re hanging the piece in an otherwise sparse hallway, you may be able to get away with a fairly thin mat. When there are distractions around the work, though, a thick mat will let viewers know it’s the focal point of the room. For example, if the work will be hung over a couch, you may want to opt for an extra wide mat so people focus on the art instead of the furniture beneath it. 


For framed art that will last for generations, turn to Art Attacks in Honolulu, HI. Led by Larry Foster, who has more than two decades of experience in the field, this shop provides high-quality custom frames at affordable prices. Whether you want to preserve paintings and photographs or less traditional items like jerseys and movie posters, you can count on this frame shop to deliver a beautiful finished product. Visit their website to see some of their past work, or call (808) 739-0909 to discuss your needs today.