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Glossary of a Custom Picture Framing

"Ray Cabrera" (2020-04-25)

drowning <strongart<\/strong>: contemporary art installation by ivan puig" style="max-width:420px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;">Picture framing becomes important because there are lots of elements that are involved in creating a perfect picture frame. Elements that your consultant will advise you most probably from the given below, but this in no way an exhaustive list and can change from framers to framers.



A term applied to papers that can absorb water solutions or other liquids such as blotting and toweling products.


Chemical substance less then pH 7.0 or less.

Acid Burn

Yellowish permanent stain on paper art.


A term that defines paper materials that has pH of 7.0.


A substitute of glass which is clear, and can be used for industrial plastic


Material use for joining two materials.


a substance greater than PH 7.0 , used to neutralize the acid.

Alkaline Paper

A paper which has PH over 7.0 and has calcium carbonate filler.


Acronym for American National Standards Institute.

Archival Components

Framing materials such as mat board, mount board that are used to preserve artwork from degradation of external and internal component

Artwork Size

Measure of the actual image which does not include borders or paper size


An acronym for American Society for Testing and Materials.


Back Paper

A paper liner put at the back of a frame.

Beveled Edge

A 45 degree angle cut on the inside edge of the mat board window.


When color seeps out when in contact with water or a solvent or undesired movement of materials to adjacent material.


Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is filler in alkaline paper-making, as coating pigment and as a buffering agent.


These are contents of a picture frame and have components such as mat board, glazing and/or mount board.

Conservation Framing

A type of framing that keeps the artwork as unaltered as possible while using materials which minimize the artwork's deterioration by environmental factors.


A professional who specializes in the restoration and conservation of artifacts such as photographs, artwork, and documents.


Double Mat

This has two (2) mat boards (top and bottom). The window (opening) of the bottom mat surrounds the image.

Dust Cover

A liner paper put at back of a frame to keep dust out of the frame



Items, normally made of paper, created for a specific, limited purpose such as advertisements, tickets, brochures and receipts.


Ability of a surface to remove light pencil lines with a rubber or gum eraser.



Overtime change in color of paper.


Components placed inside a larger frame or in between mat boards such as enhancers



Mixture of animal glue binder, chalk, and white pigment used as primer coat on wood panels, canvas, and sculpture. Modern gesso may be acrylic or soy-based and comes in a variety of colors.


A high-quality fine art installers print created with an inkjet printer.


Bright and dazzling reflected light.


A type of glazing used in picture framing. Glass is commonly composed of sodium carbonate, lime and silica (sand).


The term used for glass or acrylic to protect artwork in a frame.


Hanging Kit

contains the components necessary to hang an assembled picture frame. This generally contains , A wood frame hanging kit will contain screw hole hangers with screws, hanging wire and protective wall bumpers. A metal frame hanging kit will contain omni hangers for attaching the wire to the frame, hanging wire and protective wall bumpers.


A term for adhering the components of a picture frame together


Infrared Energy

Infrared energy exists in sunlight and tungsten and can harm the artwork.

Invasive Mounting

Residue that still remain after removal of adhesives


Japanese Paper

Paper made from fibers of the mulberry tree.



An art where natural outdoor environment is the main subject

Landscape Orientation

A layout when width is more than height.


A textile made from the fibers of the flax plant,


Mat Board

A component of frame that covers and protects the image.


the material (either wood or metal) of the picture frame. Moulding can be very ornate and decorative, or it can be very simple.

Mount Board

The board on which artwork is mounted upon inside of a picture frame


The process of fitting picture to the mat board, mount board, backer or display board.


Non-Glare Acrylic

Acrylic which has less glare due to lighting and normally has matte finish

Non-Invasive Mounting

Technique which lets artwork return to its natural state after removing adhesive and other components



Release of gases from a material.


A term that refers to how much of the artwork will be covered by the mat board.



A picture that depicts a wide, horizontal view, particularly a landscape. They are longer in horizontal direction when compared to vertical length

Pantone Color Guide

A standardized color matching system used by professionals through out the world

PH Scale

A logarithmic scale that measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline); the neutral point is 7.

Phillips Screwdriver

A screwdriver that is designed to fit into cross-shaped screws.

Picture Frame

This provides an attractive border and functions as a structural support for the artwork.

Picture Frame Size

This is the size of matted/mounted artwork.


A brand of conservation grade acrylic glazing.

Portrait Orientation

A layout that has vertical length more than horizontal length.


A print which mass-produced and normally used as decoration piece



The inner lip or groove of the picture frame, which holds the frame's components, including the glazing, mat(s), artwork and backing.

Rabbet Depth

The height or depth of rabbet. This measurement tells you how much room you have inside for the frame's components.


A term used to describe the small bottom or middle mat border left visible in a double or triple mat application.

Reverse Bevel

A reverse-bevel cut positions the bevel inside of the mat window so that it is not visible. It gives a straight edge to the mat window.


Sawtooth Hangers

Small metal bars with a serrated (sawtooth) edge that are used in place of hanging wire. Sawtoothed hangers are best for lighter weight picture frames.

Screw Eyes

Screws with a loop at the end. They are used to attach hanging wire to the back of a wooden picture frame.

Shadow Box Frame

A deep frame used for showcasing personal mementos

Southern Pine

A wood used for making picture frame moulding.


Components used to keep artwork away from the surface of the glazing.



A method in which top of the artwork is stuck while the bottom hangs free

Triple Mat

This has three mat boards (top, middle and bottom).


Ultraviolet (UV) Energy

An invisible portion of the light spectrum which comes from sun rays and can harm the artwork significantly

UV-Filter Acrylic

Acrylic which prevents the artwork by working as a protection layer between artwork and frame.

UV/Non-Glare Acrylic

Acrylic that stops UV rays and has a matte finish etched on one side to reduce glare from lighting.



A type of decorative matboard cut where a thin line is cut around the top mat's window opening.


A method for attaching artwork to the mount board. Similar to the T-hinge except it is used when the mat board will not be covering the edge of the artwork.



The application of bonding artwork to a substrate, such as foam core, using wet glues and pastes with a press or weight.


Window is the exact space the artwork has to showcase itself.

John D'souza is a writer for Paintbox Nolita & loves to write about picture frames & photography. Paintbox Nolita, custom framing store NYC offers a large selection of unique, quality picture framing services with museum quality framing. If you are looking for handmade custom frames or ready made frames, call us on 212.965.9600 or visit us at