The Anatomy of a Picture Frame

The Ins and Outs of Picture Frames

Framing Supplies Let’s explore the anatomy of a picture frame. When you understand how your frames are constructed, you can more strategically choose preservation and display methods.

Frames can include up to five total pieces! From front to back, these pieces include the following:

  • The front framing piece. While most people refer to the whole set as the frame, this is the actual frame for the photograph or artwork.
  • The glass. Also called “glazing,” this component may be made of glass, Plexiglas, or acrylic, depending on the design.
  • The window mat board. This matting appears on the outer edges of the work and serves to frame it within the larger framing structure. It also protects the work by preventing it from touching the glass piece in front.
  • The back mat. The mat adheres to the piece, which stabilizes the art and ensures that it sits at the appropriate level when the frame is assembled.
  • The backing board. This piece usually has a little bit of extra padding; it secures all the component framing pieces to the front frame. It also includes hardware for hanging or for propping your artwork up on a surface.
  • And finally,  the artwork itself! The art sits right behind the window mat board, oriented so that it is centered when the framing is complete.

Choosing the framing structure, while not technically or aesthetically difficult, can have an enormous affect on how people view and experience the original piece. Whether you’re displaying artwork or photography, choose your mat board to be complementary in its colors, texture, and visibility, so that the piece will cohere once the frame is together.

Shop for All Your Framing Supplies Today!

Redimat specializes in wholesale mat boards and framing supplies for a variety of artwork needs. We can answer your questions and help you frame your pieces for maximum success. Visit or call us toll free at 1 (877) 883-1011.