A matte board can help your artwork or document look professional and elegant in its frame. While choosing the right frame may be hard, it is equally challenging to find the perfect matte board. There are several types of matte boards available, and they range in size, materials and colors.
Pre-Cut versus Custom Cut Matte Boards
A pre-cut matte board is a board that has already been prepared to fit frequently purchased frame sizes. These are handy when you need to quickly have a picture mounted, but they can cause problems. Pre-cut matte boards may not fit the dimensions of your photograph or document, and important parts of the image may get covered up. Pre-cut matte boards are best when you need a quick addition to a framing project.
A custom cut matte board is one that you get to select to perfectly suit your photograph or document. When you choose to purchase a custom matte board, you get to shop from a wide variety of colors and thickness, but you also get to determine the core of your matte board. The framing shop can help you decide the best size for your matte board to perfectly frame your treasured object, and they will cut the matte board to size. Custom cut matte boards are suitable for valuable photographs or documents, and they are also best for pictures that have a unique size.
The material that your matte board is made from can determine the long-term effect it has on the paper of your picture. Matte boards are typically made from:
- Wood pulp. Also known as paper or alpha cellulose matte boards, these boards are used frequently for projects that are less valuable. Pulp is highly acidic and has the ability to eat through photograph paper and documents. While the effect can be buffered, the buffering may only be short term.
- Cotton. Cotton matte boards contain far less acid, but many are still buffered for extra protection. They are also lignin-free, which makes them even better to use with valuable items.
- Variety. Some boards contain a mixture of wood pulp and cotton. These must be buffered to ensure the quality of the item being framed.
Matte boards have different cores. A solid core means that the beveled cut of the board is the same color as the outside. A white core has a white bevel, and a black core has a black bevel. The various cores can affect the overall appearance of the item in the frame.
Matte boards help to protect items within frames, and they add to the decor of a room. Choosing the right matte board may seem difficult, but once you understand your choices, your decision will be easier to make.