16 Basic Terms Of Picture Framing Glossary

A Short Glossary Of Picture Framing Terms

Among The World Full Of Arts And Artists, Picture Framing is also a well-known art. Though framing is ancient art, technological improvements have added a lot to it. Museum quality framing adds little more looks and durability to the original picture or art and make it worth noticing. So what about a short glossary of terms used in Picture Framing industry, introducing basic elements of picture frame? Here is a small yet well-detailed list of picture framing terms.


Mat Is generally a paper based material that is used to separate the artwork from glass in picture frames.


Canvas is plain woven Piece of sturdy fabric upon which the painting is done.


Frame is etched-inside piece, generally made in wood, metal or plastic-like material. It Protects overall picture and holds the complete
framing assembly.

Glass inside the
framing assembly is called glazing. It protects the artwork and keeps it safe from outer injuries.

5.Backing Board:

Backing Board is strong, supportive plate, generally wooden, made to support the artwork. It separates artwork and back panel of
picture framing assembly.

6.Mount Board:

Mount Board is Similar to Backing board but material used is thicker than backing board.


Bumper is an Embossed pieces of rubber or metal behind the frame used to mount the framework on wall with screws or hooks.

When Frame is cut, some additional amount of length is left to ensure that mount board, glazing and other elements fit good with each other This gaping is also called allowance.

9.Conservation Framing:

Framing done using a special technique by experienced experts using acid-free materials that ensure long life and preservation of valuable artwork. Generally used for framing costly pictures and paintings to be displayed in museums.

10.Dust Cover:

A seal of craft paper which is stuck onto the back of
picture frame to prohibit the dust from entering inside frame assembly. It adds more price to framing so generally it is used with expensive and archival art works only.

11.Shadow Box:

Shadow Box is Special kind of frame generally used to frame 3D objects for example, a t-shirt, a statue etc.


Rail is a side of frame. Four rails on four sides make a piece of frame.

13.Acid Burn:

Sometimes when the material used in framing is not acid-free, acidic extracts of that material may gradually leak into the artwork spoiling it looks or making it yellowish. This leakage is called acid burn in terms of
picture framing.

Sloping edge of surface. Generally frames are beveled.

Corrugated Corners:
When framing assembly has to shift from one to another place or have to be stored somewhere for a long term, its corners are covered with corrugated material. It is good practice to ensure long life of that framing.

16.Floater frame:
special kind of picture frame in which some gap is left between canvas and frame lip. It is called floater frame because it gives illusion as if canvas painting is floating inside the frame.

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