How to Frame a Print

When framing a print, it must also be matted. The frame size will equal the dimensions of the print plus 4 to 6 inches (10.1 to 16.2 cm) added to the vertical and horizontal dimensions (owner's preference). Read complete instructions before beginning

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1- Measure and cut a mat-board and a mounting board to the overall size calculated to create a mat 4 to 6 inches larger than the print so as to reveal 2 to 3 inches (5 cm to 7 cm) of the mat on all sides of a print.

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2 - Obtain a frame matching the dimensions of the finished matted print/mounting board.

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3- Lay the cut-to-size mounting board face up and center the print on it.

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4-Tape the print to the mounting board with archival tape "hinges" at the top edge only so a print "hangs" and expands and contracts with the humidity.

  • Use archival tape "hinges," available with instructions at any art supply store. Tape "hinges" are an invisible mounting method used so the upper edge of a mat only needs to overlap a print edge by 1/4 inch (.6 cm).

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5- Make a mat for the print using archival mat-board to prevent the print from touching the glass by doing the following.

  • Measure the print horizontally and vertically. To create a mat to overlap the edges of the print by 1/4 inch (.6 cm) on each of four sides, subtract 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) from the overall horizontal and vertical dimensions of the print. This is the size of the opening in the mat to display the print, which is 1/4 inch (.6 cm) smaller than the print on all four sides.
  • On the back of the mat-board, diagonal lines drawn between the opposite corners will cross at the center-point of the mat. Note the center-point and measure 1/2 of the dimensions determined above from the center out toward the edge of the mat both horizontally and vertically. Mark these using a pencil.
  • Use a T-Square aligned from the adjacent edge and align it to the pencil marks to assure perfectly square lines parallel to each other and to the mat-board edges. Draw a line along the edge of the T-square to define the inner area of the mat that will be cut out for the print.

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6- Cut the mat-board from the backside along these lines in one stroke for each cut. Assure cleanly cut corners by overlapping the cuts at the corners by at least 1/8 of an inch (3.175 mm). Overlap cuts will be nearly invisible on the face of the mat.

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7-  Lay the frame face down.

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8- Clean both sides of the glass to be used in the frame and lay it into the fame.Assure all four edges of the glass lay securely in the frame.

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9- Lay the display side of finished, cut mat-board into the frame directly on the glass.

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10-  Lay mounted print in the frame face down on the mat-board installed previously. Before proceeding, lift an edge of the frame and look to assure the print is aligned with the mat-board opening and no dust or material is between the glass and the mat or print .

  • With the frame face down, secure the backing material to the frame using framers points pushed into the wooden frame on each side of the frame. Metal frames are provided with snap-in metal tabs for this purpose.
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11- Install backing material of same size as mounting-board/mat into the frame on top of the mounting board just laid in. Any cardboard or mounting board will suffice for backing

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12-  The print is now framed in a professional manner that will last for years.

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