A Reverse Bevel Mat Board Cut: What It Is and Why Framers Use It

A bevel is a cut made on an angle other than ninety degrees (straight up and down). Think of a “beveled mirror,” in which the edge of the glass is cut at a different angle from the center.

A mat board window is always cut so that its edge is beveled, or angled. Usually, the bevel is cut so that the mat board’s core is visible. For example, with a black mat that has a white core, the white core will be visible as an angled edge around the mat window. 

Sometimes, however, the framer doesn’t want to see the mat’s core. In that case, she cuts a “reverse bevel.” This simply means that the angle is cut in the opposite direction. Looking at the mat straight on, it will appear as if there is no exposed mat core. This technique provides a sleek, seamless look for matted art and is often used with dark mats to mask a light-colored core.

reverse-cut-bevel.jpg

Reverse bevels are particularly useful with a double-matted treatment in which the mats have different core colors. By cutting a reverse bevel on one or both mats, the cores are hidden.

Little tricks like reverse bevels are easy to do, but they make a big difference in the final product.  Reveal your framing tricks, ask about ours, or just join the framing conversation in the comments section. We look forward to hearing what you think.



How to Create a Mat Board with Multiple Openings
Designing Single, Double, and Triple Mat Boards
How to Select the Right Mat Board for your Art
Custom Framing with Mat Board: Designing with Size
White Core, Cream Core and Continuous Core Mat Board
Mat Board Terms: Reveal, Offset, Overlap, and How to Order
How Do I Order Mat Board Samples?
Did you Know: Oversize Mat Board is Now Online

AubreyK | 3/21/2014 9:14:14 AM | 6 comments
Comments
American Frame
Lana,
We try to limit it as much as possible, but with our machines it's really unavoidable.
3/9/2015 8:42:51 AM

Lana
Is there a way to avoid the "over cut" look on a reverse bevel?
3/8/2015 11:30:53 AM

American Frame
Matty,

Glad you found it useful!
4/4/2014 12:14:54 PM

Matty Beulah
I've used the reverse bevel when I didn't want the white to show and it was a great look.
4/4/2014 12:07:44 PM

American Frame
Valerie,

Great point!
4/4/2014 11:53:17 AM

ValerieK
ALSO A GOOD IDEA FOR DUSTY MEDIA LIKE CHARCOAL OR CHALK. ANY LOOSE PIGMENT WON'T FALL AND ACCUMULATE ON THE VISIBLE PART OF THE BEVEL.
4/4/2014 11:49:53 AM