Selecting Mat Boarding For Your Wooden Photo Frames

By Douglas Galvan

The mat board is the piece of your wooden photo frames that will support your picture. It's important to look at the good and bad sides of each of the three mat board types you can choose. By looking deeply into each, you can begin to determine which mat board will be right for you.

High Acid, No Longevity: Paper Matboard

Paper matboard can be troublesome due to its high acid content, which is unavoidable with a matboard made from wood pulp. Many companies will insist their paper matboard is acid free, but this is not true because any quantity of wood pulp is inherently heavy with acid. Some companies will buffer their wood pulp so as to reduce the acid levels, but rest assured that in as few as five years, your paper matboard's acid levels will revive and damage your painting, which means these types of boards are for temporary use only.

On the positive side, paper matboard is also cheap.

Permanency For A Price: Cotton Rag Matboard

The purified cotton rag matboard is ideal for keeping painting fresh and maintaining their beauty for years on end. Since it's lignin and acid free, there are no concerns like the paper matboard, but on the negative side this limits the colors you can choose from for the board. The cotton rag matboard is crafted from a series of dyed layered cotton boards, which produces a thick base that is uniform.

The problem with cotton rag matboard is its expensive price tag. For much less than a single cotton rag, you could pick up two paper matboards. The question you have to answer is whether you want something that will be permanent or something that will ruin itself in a few years.

A Happy Medium: Alpha Cellulose Matboard

Matboarding of the alpha cellulose variety features wooden fibers which are doused with chemicals that will lower acid levels to safe quantities. The matboards themselves are nicely stable, and work great for archiving those paintings you need to keep permanently.

The price is manageable as well, which makes this matboard a nice choice for those not wanting to spend too much money, but willing to blow enough to keep their materials safe for the foreseeable future.

Identifying What You Need

How important is keeping a low price when it comes to the safety of your art? It's perfectly acceptable to go cheap and pick up a paper matboard for art you're not crazy about, or paintings you can see yourself getting rid of in a few years.

If you're instead looking to keep great pieces of art looking great for your lifetime, and possibly more, then it is without question worth the additional money to archive your paintings. You'll be able to make more money, but once that piece of art is damaged, it's gone for good. - 31520

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here