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How To Change The Look Of A Picture With A Frame And Matting

So, maybe you’ve been handed down a treasured art piece but it needs to be reframed. Or you have a new photograph that you can’t wait to display but you’re not sure whether a wood or metal frame would suit it best.  Or you just switched your decor and want to refresh your artwork to match your new style. You can change the look and feel of your photos and artwork with your frame choices. Here at Frame It Easy, we offer 8 different frame styles and over 75 matboards to choose from, so your possibilities are truly endless! 

Giving your picture, art piece, or poster a new frame and new matting is a simple makeover and can take your art from wow to WOW! We’re sharing some tips and tricks on how to give your picture a whole new look just by changing the frame and matboard.

1. Wood vs Metal 

Simple metal frame
Ornate wood frame

Choosing between a wood or metal frame often can change the vibe of your display. As a general rule of thumb, a wood frame will have a more formal look to it while a metal frame gives a more casual impression. Your frame choice mainly depends on your aesthetic taste and the feel you are going for. We also recommend choosing a frame that will best coordinate with the other furniture pieces in your room. 

As you can see from the examples above, our metal frame in Ashford is a thin flat metal (⅜” wide) that allows more of the photograph to be exposed. By choosing it in white it gives the snow-covered mountains an extra “pop” for a cool display. We also love to pair our wood frame styles with nature photography and the silver Granby frame gives the same photograph a more sophisticated, elegant look.

Whichever you choose, you can be sure that we use the highest quality materials to produce both our wood and metal frames so that they will not only be aesthetically appealing but will stand up to the test of time.

2. Black vs White Frames

framed painting
Colorful art framed

Whether you choose a wood or a metal frame style, black and white frames are a go-to look for many people, and with good reason. They are easy to coordinate with, they complement almost any photo or artwork, and they can easily stand out against any wall color or texture

While black frames give a more formal look and white frames a more eclectic vibe, both are very modern and streamlined. Both look great as stand-alone, but they really show their stuff in a gallery wall! A black frame tends to highlight darker features while contrasting lighter colors and work especially well with black and white images, while a white frame can make vibrant colors even more visually stunning.

3. Light Wood vs Dark Wood 

Light wood frame around newborn photo
Dark wood frame around newborn photo

If you know you want a wood frame, you are sure to find just the right hue from our 16 available colors. Besides standards like black or white and silver or gold, you can also choose Cherry, Rustic Gray, and Cocoa, as well as other wood shades to match your existing decor for a coordinated look.

Another consideration in choosing which shade is right for your artwork is how it works with your particular piece, and that is where our Frame Designer makes life easier for you. If you upload your photo to our designer, you then get to experiment with our frames to see which works best. In the above examples, you can see how the darker frame draws the eye to the picture and creates a more vibrant visual. If you prefer a softer look, the lighter frame would be the way to go.

4. Simple vs. Ornate

College diplomas
College Diploma

A sleek, simple frame has a modern, fresh look and lets the artwork inside it do the talking. It complements the contents of the frame without distracting from it. An ornate frame has a more vintage, formal feel to it and can be considered more of an accessory to the artwork, calling attention to itself as well as its contents.

Again, we have no rules that you must follow, but you can see the different aesthetic a simple frame versus an ornate one has when framing a diploma. As always, it comes down to a matter of choice and style preference.

5. Small Mat vs Big Mat 

Wedding photo with small mat
Wedding photo with large mat

You have more choices than wood or metal, black or white, ornate, or simple when it comes to changing the look of your artwork. Matting can completely change the look of your piece. Here’s where you can get really creative with a single or double mat and over 75 color choices. That’s a lot of options!

Here at Frame It Easy, the part we love most about custom framing is there are no rules. Whatever you think will look best hanging up on your walls, we can make for you. Generally speaking, however, the larger the piece you are framing, the larger the matting around it should be. Below you will find a chart of typical matboard sizes. 

Art SizeTypical UseTypical Matting
Up to5″ x 7″Small photos,Instagram prints1″- 1 1/2″
Up to8 1/2″ -x11″Medium phots,small prints1 1/2″ – 2″
Up to11″ x 14″Large photos,small posters & prints2″ – 2 1/2″
Up to18″ x 24″Mediumposters & prints2″ – 3″
Over18″ x 24″Large and very largeposters & prints

However, adding a lot of matting often makes for a more contemporary design. These days, some people like to make their matboard larger than the art itself, making the entire frame a striking display piece. 

Final Thoughts 

family gallery wall
Processed with VSCO with al1 preset

We love how our Frame Designer allows you to experiment with every aspect of designing your custom frame because it lets you see exactly what your finished product will look like before you hit the order button. We hope this has given you some insight into how the different frames we offer can change the look and feel of your artwork.

So go ahead, experiment! We are sure you will create a frame that has the exact vibe you are looking for.

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