Custom Picture Framing | 5 Words You Need To Know

16 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog

Custom picture framing can be a bit of a mystery for those who are not familiar with the jargon. Here's what you need to know to demystify some common terms used in the custom picture framing industry. 


While the word molding describes that science project in the back of your refrigerator, moulding (with the letter u) is the word used to describe the wood or metal frame around your artwork. Mouldings come in a wide variety of different styles, materials, and colors. 


A mat is a piece of thick paper placed between your artwork and the glass. Mats serve two purposes: they add an extra layer of protection for your artwork by holding the glass away from your art, and they provide a colored border that can be used to accentuate your artwork. Matting can be single, double, or triple. In other words, you can layer up to three mats to complement the colors in your artwork.


Float mounting is a way to display your artwork without using a mat. The artwork is mounted on top of the mat instead of underneath, allowing you to see the full image without obstructions. Float mounting is often used on artwork with interesting edges, like handmade paper, paper with a deckled edge, and even works of art on papyrus.


Glazing refers to the glass or acrylic placed over your artwork to protect it from dirt, dust, and other potential damage. Glazing is available in regular, non-glare, and UV-resistant glass, as well as regular and non-glare acrylic. UV glazing protects the artwork from fading caused by the sun's UV rays. It is expensive, however, and its use is usually reserved for archival framing on valuable artwork.


A fillet is a small strip of wood moulding placed inside another moulding or inside the matting. Fillets are often gold leaf and are used to give your frame a more finished look. 

There is some controversy over the pronunciation and spelling of the word filet/fillet. The Grammarist suggests that Americans use filet (with one l) to make things sound more French but also admits that both Americans and Canadians are "inconsistent" with the spelling. In the world of custom picture framing, however, it is always spelled fillet, and the t at the end of the word is pronounced, not silent.

Hopefully, this has helped clear up some of the mystery surrounding custom picture framing jargon. If you have any further questions about custom picture framing, contact a local frame shop.