Mat and float presentations for works on paper

artwork by Jean Gumpper

artwork by Jean Gumpper


Mat and float presentations are used when the artwork has a deckled or uneven edge or it is important that none of the image is covered and a mat is deep enough to provide the separation from the art and the glazing.


Measuring & Determining Border size The first step is to measure the the artwork from edge to edge (if the image is out of square, measure from the widest and longest point).


Float size Determine how much of a float you want around the artwork before the mat starts (1/4″ on smaller pictures and 1/2″ on larger pictures is often used).


Mat border size Then determine the size of border you want on your mat. Generally, as the size of the mat increases, the size of the mat border increases, too. We seldom recommend mat borders less than 2″. Sizes ranging from 16 x 20 and up generally get 2 1/2″ – 5″ borders.Traditionally, mat borders are equal on the top and sides and 1/4″ – 1″ extra on the bottom border. Visually this seems to make the mat borders look even. However, many artists prefer to make all borders even so they can use and reuse the mats on either horizontal or vertical pictures.


Custom calculator After measuring your artwork and deciding on the float and mat border size, enter the sizes into our new custom calculator and we will calculate the rest.


Hinging Hinging requires a V-Hinge technique. We have complete framing advice and videos on how to attach artwork with a V-Hinge using either Japanese rice paper and wheat paste or archival tapes.