Should I Include Matte on My Custom Frame?

custom-frames matte

When you enter a home, one of the first things that will catch your attention would be the matte photos and art pieces that are hung on the wall. Choosing the perfect images is essential to create an impact or tell a story, but the custom frame that goes along with them is just as crucial.

Your custom frames will help to achieve symmetry, create drama, and enhance the photograph or art, especially if you are making a gallery wall. 

What is Matte?

The matte refers to the piece of cardboard or paper that frames the image within the custom photo frame. The colour is usually white, although it could be anything, depending on your preferences. You likely have seen a matte before although you do not know what it is called.

Why should you use one? 

  • One of the advantages of using a matte is that it will add texture, character, and dimension to the image.

  • It will also create an illusion of size, which makes it perfect for smaller photographs. For example, if you have a 4×4 image that you want to frame, then you should add a matte around it to make it larger than it is.

  • The matte will effectively protect your image from damage. Since it creates a separation between the glass and the artwork, it prevents the material from sticking to the pane. It is essential when you are displaying artwork on the wall that can be hit by sunlight.

  • People can also write details describing the family photograph. For example, they can write on the paper the date when it was taken, the location of the photoshoot, and others. The matte will help avoid putting ink on the precious image.  

How Big Should the Matte Be?

Typically, there is no rule on the size of the border. The average customer will usually include from 1 and ½ inches to 2 inches of the border to be included in their custom frames

  1. For small photos (5×7 inches), the border can be from 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches.
  2. For medium photos (8×11 inches), the border can be 1 and 1/2 to 2.
  3. For large photos (11×14 inches), the border can be 2 inches up to 3 inches.
  4. For medium posters (18 inches to 24 inches), the border can be from 2 inches to 3 inches.
  5. For large posters (more than 18 inches to 24 inches), you can put a matte border as wide as five inches.

However, it will still depend on how the finished product looks. An experienced custom frames manufacturer can help you come up with a decision to enhance your art or photograph.


Before choosing the matte for your custom frames, remember that the border should be there to highlight or enhance the image, not to distract the viewer. You will immediately know if the matte is the wrong size if it is already overpowering the photograph or artwork.

As a final tip, before drilling your first hole for your gallery wall, consider laying down all the custom frames and art pieces on your floor. You can arrange them and reposition them frequently without doing any actual damage. Once, you are satisfied, then you can make it more permanent by hanging the pieces one by one.