Log In



    Before we get started mounting and framing our images for professional presentation, let's take a look at some of the tools and materials we'll be using.

    In addition to the mat board, foamcore or Gatorboard (mounting board) and frame of your choice, you will need some basic tools. Below is a list of suggested tools that will make mounting and framing your pictures easier:


    It's nice to have a few rulers of varying sizes for measuring.  A carpenter's guide is nice for small measurements, but it is hardly necessary. A small ruler will work just as well. Large metal rulers are nice for larger measurements. They are accurate and can double as cutting guides for rotary tools, box cutters or utility knives. You will need a thicker cutting rail for use with a specialty mat cutter.

    • Small ruler or carpenter's measuring tool for fine measurements
    • Aluminum or steel ruler with cork backing to keep it from slipping
    • Cutting rail, a very thick ruler or straight edge to use as a cutting guide


    For the cleanest cuts use sharp blades and change them often. Choose cutters to match the materials you will be using. Specialty mat cutters or beveled mat cutters save time and give clean, professional results, but they are hardly necessary. You can get perfectly good results using a basic utility knife. Just be sure to use a new blade.

    • Rotary tool by Fiskars for very fine paper trims
    • Box cutter with a single edge razor blade for cutting foamcore
    • Utility knife can be used for mat board or Gatorboard
    • Handheld mat cutter for mat board and Gatorboard
    • Beveled mat cutter, a specialty tool for making angled cuts


    Clamping Devices
    A good clamp can act as an extra pair of hands. A paperweight can also be very useful for securing your work temporarily so it doesn't shift position. You can even use low-tack tape. Just be sure that anything you choose is not destructive to your artwork.

    • Paperweight with felt backing
    • Pony spring clamps for anchoring the cutting rail
    • Small metal clamps to secure artwork for precision placement
    • Low-tack tape


    Other tools you might find useful:

    • Wire cutters for cutting picture wire and plastic spacers for float mounting
    • Pliers for removing tabs from frames
    • Power screwdriver for securing D-rings for hanging frames
    • Point drivers to insert the dual point tabs into the backs of frames
    • Bone or plastic paper folder and scorer to smooth the mat board cuts
    • White emery board to smooth rough cuts
    • Flathead screwdriver


    Here is a list of useful supplies to keep on hand for framing:

    • Plastic spacers for float mounting
    • Kraft paper for backing your frames and keeping dust out
    • Dual points to secure the mounted artwork in the frame
    • D-rings for anchoring the hanging wire
    • Small screws for the D-rings
    • Picture wire to hang the frame


    Adhesives vary in their acidity. If you are mounting and framing fine art work that you want to last, be sure to choose an archival quality adhesive. Archival tapes and adhesives are readily available from any good art supply store. Get a clean, fresh sponge for moistening the back of the water-soluble tape.

    • Double-sided tape
    • Photo corners (having two different sizes is nice)
    • Archival linen tape
    • Hinge tape, archival, self-adhesive and water base tape
    • Sponge for moistening the linen and hinge tape
    • Photo Mount, acid-free spray adhesive for dry mounting



    Cleaning Supplies

    • Dust-off or hurricane blower to remove any dust from the frame
    • Invisible Glass or equivalent to clean the fame's glass
    • Microfiber cloth