Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by
Close your eyes and picture a high-class home. Chances are, you’re imagining some framed artwork on the walls.
There’s something about a piece of framed artwork that looks nicer than one without a frame. Not only that, but framing your artwork can preserve it and increase its value, depending on the materials you use. One of the components that can add to this safety and value is a matboard.
What is a matboard, and how can it help you preserve your artwork? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Matboard?
A matboard is a heavy paper-based mat that serves as a border for any artwork that you decide to frame. It’s intended to make the artwork look more finished and professional, while also providing protection for the edges of the piece and separating it from the glass of the frame.
What Are the Types of Matboard?
While almost all matboards get made from some type of heavy paper, there are different types of matboard intended for different uses. The most common types of matboard include:
Standard matboard, sometimes called acid-free matboard, is the most common type of matboard. If you call a framing store and ask for a custom matting job done, this will more than likely be the type they use. This 14-play backing has been buffered with calcium carbonate to keep its pH alkaline.
This protects your artwork from discoloration or damage caused by acid.
Conservation board, like standard matboard, is acid-free. However, it has a rag or pulp-based core with brightly colored surface papers stuck to it. If you decide to invest in a conservation board with molecular traps, then you can further ensure the integrity of your artwork by protecting it from a range of pollutants.
Museum board is by far the best matboard on the market and the only choice for older pieces. These boards are one hundred percent cotton-based, making them the most durable of the lot. Cotton typically does not require buffering due to its neutral pH, but many museum boards have buffering added to them regardless.
Where to Buy Matboard for Framing Projects
So, now that you understand what a matboard is and the different types available to you, where can you buy one? Framing and crafting stores often have a variety of precut boards available to purchase for photos and paintings in standard dimensions. However, for larger projects, or those with oddball dimensions, you may need to purchase a custom cut board.
Let’s Review What We Know About the Matboard
A matboard is a board intended to protect your artwork from damage and separate it from the frame. It can be made from thick paper or fabric, depending on the type used. However, all matboards are designed to be acid-free to protect your artwork from damage.
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