HGTV Magazine

How bad is it to not mat a framed piece of art?

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Mats are a smart idea for pretty and practical reasons, but not a must! The depth and dimension they give can make artwork stand out (especially smaller pieces) and colors pop, says Brian Cognazzo, master picture framer at Washington Framers’ Workroom in Washington, D.C. “Mats also act as spacers between the artwork and the glass, which prevents art from getting stuck if moisture gets in from humidity.” Choose an acid-free mat, known not to deteriorat­e and damage art. With gallery walls, leave some prints unmatted for an eclectic look. You can usually skip mats for typographi­c prints—they stand out enough.

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