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How Should You Choose a Mat Color?

October 18, 2016 9:00 am

When you decide that it is time to frame one of your favorite pictures or pieces of art, one of the most important things you need to choose is the mat color. For many people, choosing a mat color is a bit of a daunting task simply because there are so many colors available. There are many different methods you can use to choose the right mat colors for your artwork.

Choosing a Mat Color Based on Dominant Colors

A very common way to choose a mat color for your portrait or piece of art is to choose one that will help bring out the dominant color of the piece. If you choose this method, the eye of the viewer will be drawn to the art. If the piece has a focal point and there are background colors, you can help bring the eye to the focal point by choosing a mat color that goes with the background color. With a piece that is dark, you will want to go with a darker mat color for the top mat and vice versa. The accent mat, which is the inner edge mat, should be a dominant color in the piece, just not the most dominant one.

Choosing Contrasting Colors

Another option when you are searching for the right mat color is to go with a contrasting color from the piece. If you want to bring even more attention to the piece and help it stand out more, this is a good option for you. For lighter pieces, you will want to go with a darker mat color and vice versa. This is even a great option if there are no dominant colors in the piece. A high contrast mat can do a lot for your piece when done the right way.

Opt for a Neutral Color

Sometimes the piece does all of the work for you, and you only want to mat it in a neutral color. If you do not want to add any additional emphasis to the piece, you can choose this option. There are still varying colors with neutral options, and you can find a warm neutral or a cool neutral that goes best with the piece.

Classic Black and White

Black and white are always good options, and you are not stuck with one color of black and white. There are often many different shades and tones you can choose from. There is some color variation within these various options that can provide a little bit of personality but still keep it toned down. Black is a good option when you cannot find any other mat color that works. It is a good classic choice for many different pieces.

Choosing Specific Colors

There are times when you want to choose very specific colors for your matting to go along with a theme. Some examples of this may be a school color scheme when you are matting a photograph or a diploma. There are times when the school colors may be too bold, and these can be toned down just enough to make the piece look great but still look like your desired colors.

Because there are so many different options when choosing mat colors, it is always best to try them out with the piece before getting the matting completed. You can place different mat colors together with the piece as well as the framing to get a good idea of what it will look like when the project is completed. This is often the best way to choose the perfect mat colors for your particular piece.

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