Designing Two- and Three-Mat Board Treatments

Using multiple mat boards can add color, interest and dimension to a work of art. Follow these easy steps to create your multiple mat board design.

First, consider color. Then, when you’re ready to experiment, fire up our framing engine. You can either experiment with frames and mats alone or, for added utility, snap a picture of your artwork and upload it to our website.

To start the framing engine, first browse picture frames from the picture frame tab, choose the one that best suits the artwork, then click “buy this frame” and the framing engine will automatically begin. (Don’t worry, you can cancel out at any time before paying.)

click the buy this frame button to go into the framing engine

Enter the art size of the work to be framed, then, if you want to upload your own artwork, choose “upload preview image” from the “Size” tab and follow the prompts. If you don’t want to upload your own art, move onto choosing mats by clicking on the “mat” tab. Here’s where you can really get creative. Choose multiple colors or keep it simple with a double white mat. The choices are endless.

click upload preview image to view the art in the frame

First, choose the mat board type under “Configure Mat.” We have different grades available (e.g., conservation, 4 ply, 8 ply). From within the mat board type, choose a color, and then decide on border widths. We recommend 2” or more depending on the size of the work. Larger works may require wider borders. Keep in mind, the first mat board configured will become the bottom mat.

click the add mat button to add additional mats

To add a mat on top of the first one, click “add mat.” Decide on the offset and then choose the color for the top mat. If designing a triple mat, this second mat will become the middle mat and the third mat that is added will become the top mat. If you don’t like how the design looks, click on the “configure” tabs to go back and choose a different color or offset.

Enter the desired mat offset

Once you see a mat board design you like, you can continue choosing glazing, mounting, and accessories and complete the order. If you aren’t ready to order, write down the elements of your design you like (the mat numbers, frame number and/or border sizes) and you can come back and complete your design later.

Designing a two or three-mat treatment might seem intimidating at first, but with our framing engine tool anyone can quickly visualize colors, borders and offsets, taking the guesswork out of even the most complex treatment. Have fun, experiment and trust your eye. You’ll know the perfect treatment as soon as you see it.

AubreyK | 3/11/2015 11:14:10 AM | 8 comments
American Frame
We do too! They can definitely make a statement!
3/19/2015 1:50:08 PM

I like the bold impression and impact that multiple mats can create.
3/19/2015 12:44:10 PM

American Frame

It definitely makes it easier!
3/18/2015 10:08:01 AM

American Frame
Barb, That's a good way to look at it!
3/18/2015 10:07:33 AM

Barb Johnson
I would imagine that using a triple mat would help with the decision making, especially if you are having a hard time deciding which colors to use!
3/13/2015 12:45:29 PM

I'm so glad I don't have to do all that math anymore!
3/13/2015 10:10:35 AM

American Frame
Thanks for the comment! It definitely adds another dimension to the work. For triple matting, just remember to choose a frame with a deep enough rabbet to accomodate all the materials.
3/12/2015 7:52:44 AM

I love double matting my artwork. It makes it look so much more expensive. Haven't tried a triple mat yet but I'm sure it would create the same effect.
3/11/2015 1:02:53 PM