Welcome to the No Naked Walls! mat info page. Originally, mats were used to cover uneven edges and create an airspace between the surface of the art and the glass within a finished frame. Over the years, mats have evolved from utilitarian necessities in shades of white and off-white to a myriad of colors and textures. Mats are available in a variety of solid and textured printed paper surfaces along with fabric finishes, including suede, linen, silk, and even AstroTurf!
At No Naked Walls! we stock mats from a number of suppliers. We can special-order almost any brand and color you want. We use only acid-free mats. Acid-free mats are important in conservation framing, as acid is damaging to artwork. When paper turns yellow or brown, it is usually due to acid in the paper. (Think about a newspaper that looks crisp and white on the day of delivery and turns yellow and brittle with time.) If you have an older piece of art that has developed brownish or yellow stains where the mat is touching the art, you should consider having the piece re-matted, because the stain is evidence that acid from the mat is damaging the art. Some of the most commonly used Conservation Mat brands are Crescent, Bainbridge, Artique and Peterborough.
Mats can be used to make a picture look larger on your wall. Designers often choose mats that pull the desired colors out of a piece of artwork to accent the space where the art will hang. A special piece can be accented a triple mat and decorative treatments like v-grooves or custom styled corners.
Some works of art benefit most from simple mats in shades of white, off-white, cream or black, while others sing when surrounded by complimentary colors and colors echoed within the piece. You can try different mat colors and textures on your picture with our Virtual Framing Visualization Software. Click here to see examples.
Generally, you don’t want a mat to exactly match your wall color, because it can give the impression that your art is “floating” inside the frame. Mats are relatively easy to change and generally one of the less expensive components of a custom frame, so many customers periodically freshen up their art by changing the colors of the mats to get a whole new look and more miles out of their artwork.
If you are attaching your artwork to a mat at home, only use acid-free and archival tape to hinge in the art. (No masking tape, duct tape or packing tape, please!) Works of art on paper are often “hinge mounted” by taping the back of the art across the top of the piece to the back of the mat, leaving the bottom, left, and right sides free to expand and contract with differences in temperature and humidity. Good framers always work to balance function with conservation, and will use the least permanent (and therefore potentially damaging) tape that will hold up a piece of art, in case the customer would like to make changes in the future. Also, in theory, if a frame were dropped or otherwise jarred or broken, this hinge of tape can give way, freeing the art from the mat, thus preventing the art from being ruined in an accident. Sometimes a hinge will give way with age, (your art may seem to slip down in its frame, behind the mat) and it is usually an easy fix. In this case, appreciate that your framer did not permanently glue your piece to the mat, damaging the artwork permanently.
Sometimes you will notice that an older picture looks wobbly under the mat, and that may be due to excessive exposure to humidity or fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Dry mounting is one possible solution to flatten and smooth out such a piece. The dry mounting process involves a heat-activated glue coated foam core board and a heated vacuum press. Inside the press, the suction flattens the paper evenly while the heat activates the glue, bonding the paper to the foam core board and pressing out ripples in the paper. Irreplaceable photographs and works of art are not dry mounted, because as custom framers, we try not to perform any action on a work of art that can not be reversed. In some cases, a product like Bainbridge’s Art Care Restore can be used to dry mount an item, and in theory, the item could be reheated and removed from the board at a later time.
Every mat we offer is cut in-house on a Wizard™ 9000 Computerized Mat Cutter for precise corners and digitally accurate measurements every time. About two tons of matboard are kept in stock at No Naked Walls and can often be cut while you wait. Our computerized mat cutter allows for endless design options and customization. Windows (the opening in the mat through which the art is viewed) can be cut in standard rectangles, ovals, with notched corners, or with designs like a camel back flair or french stair. Designer cuts can be previewed in the Frame Visualization Software. (Click here for slide shows.) Graphics and lettering can be added to customize and enhance the overall design of your custom framing package.
Signable Mats are a perfect gift idea for:
- Weddings (engagement picture used for wedding, and wedding photo can be swapped out at a later date)
- Retirement Parties
- Special Events
*In order to determine the size of the mat, your framer needs to know the approximate number of guests expected to sign and the exact size of the photograph that will go in the mat
*Ask for a sample of the mat you select so that you may try out different pens before the event
*If your choice of pen is not 100% fade-proof, request Conservation Glass to ensure your gift will last a lifetime
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Friday 10 – 5, Saturdays 10 – 3
Proudly Serving: Port Richey, New Port Richey, Trinity, Hudson, Spring Hill, Holiday,
Tarpon Springs, Odessa, Brooksville, Lutz, Elfers, & Land O’ Lakes
Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, & Hillsborough Counties
– Strong Medicine for Serious Artburn –