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As the favored company for art installation in Tampa Bay, we get plenty of questions about art prints, and many of them concern matting. While we only provide art installation services and don’t mat and frame pieces, we do know a thing or two about matting. So, today we’re going to take a look at what you should know about matting.

Art Installation in Tampa Bay: Matting Your Art Prints

The biggest question that we get by far is “should I mat my art piece or not?”. While this is a decision that’s largely up to you, there are some guidelines that can help you to make your decision.

How Big Is Your Piece?

One of the most popular reasons why people mat artwork is to make a bigger final piece. This is particularly the case when you have a very small piece of work that you want to display. For example, if you have a piece that is just a little bigger than a postcard, matting and framing your piece can give it much more presence in the room. Failing to mat your piece means that it can be easily lost on the wall because it doesn’t make much of an impression at all!


Another benefit of adding a mat to your framed piece is that it adds dimension to the piece. This is a great plus if you have a rather flat piece of work that doesn’t stand out enough from the frame you have put it in. For example, some abstract art can lack dimension if you only place it in a frame, but adding a mat can draw out shapes and create a more three-dimensional piece.

Is Your Piece an Original or Signed Drawing?

If your art piece is a pencil drawing or has an authentic signature (or any aspect that could get damaged, transferred, or smudged when in direct contact with the frame glass) you want to add a mat to your piece to add a protective distance between the art piece and the glass of the frame. This will keep your original pieces in original condition and maintain the value of your signed pieces.

What Other Pieces Will Accompany Your Art?

When you are creating a photo wall, not every piece has to “match” – in fact, it can often look more appealing to have a variety of framing styles –¬† but you should keep in mind the styles of matting and colors of matting that you are using when you do this. Try to maintain a theme that ties each piece in the display together. For example, you may choose to have a variety of frames but to have each piece matted with the same white mat.

What Does Your Gut Tell You?

One of our most frequently given pieces of advice when it comes to your art display is to listen to your gut! People often tell us that they have no “artsy sense” and wouldn’t know what looked best for their art pieces, but when we ask what their gut tells them, they make the same decision that 90% of people would make. It’s okay to ask advice, but ultimately you should trust your gut because you are the one who is going to be looking at these art pieces on a regular basis!

What Type of Mat?

There are MANY different types of mat available, they vary in color and visual presentation. This variety can lead to overwhelming confusion. We always recommend taking your art piece to a professional framer not only because you can get the frame done the right way but also because it gives you the opportunity to look at the matting options available. A professional framer will show you the variety of options that they have and they will even have swatches so that you can see what different mats will look like on your piece before you decide on your final choice.

Are You In Need Of Assistance With Your Art Installation in Tampa Bay?

If you need help with your next art installation project and you live in Southwest Florida, Gulf Coast Installations can help! Just give us a call today at 239-682-1077 and set up an appointment with our excellent installation team at a time that’s convenient for you!