Some basics about frame, mat and glass selection...


Framing a special piece of art, photography, heirloom or even your child's first art project will help preserve it. A custom frame will ensure that your art is compatible with your décor.


There are thousands of frame and mat combinations to choose from at Milestone Images, so the design possibilities are nearly unlimited.

First steps...


When you’re planning your framing project, there are a few things you can do to prepare before you get to the frame shop.


  • Think about the colors and style of the room the frame will hang in.

  • You might want to bring a few photos, even on your phone, showing different views of the room where the new frame will hang. This will provide a sense of your decor and of the pieces surrounding your frame so we can help you choose the best frame design for you.

  • It’s also helpful to know the approximate size of your room, especially the wall where the framed piece will hang. With matted pieces, we may be able to adjust proportions a bit to help the completed pieces relate to the scale of the room better.

Selecting the right frame…


We understand that the selection of just the right frame can be difficult, but we’re here to help you make the perfect selection. Below are a few tips that will help you select the perfect picture frame.


  • What you’re framing is the first thing to consider. Is the item being framed casual or formal? A signed, limited-edition print; a hockey jersey; a family portrait; an oil on canvas or a child’s first watercolor each have a different feel. 

  • Will your picture hang in a living room, an office or in a more casual setting?  Will it hang by itself or grouped with other frames and art? The style of the space will help determine the character of the frame. Color, style and design should be chosen to work with both the image and its surroundings, including wall, wood trim, floor treatment and textiles.

  • The thickness of the frame profile is also important. Incorrectly sized framing will distract from the art. There are no absolute rules, but these considerations should help you through the selection process. Generally, use a wide frame on large art and a thin frame on smaller art. A wide frame can add substance to a large piece; a thinner frame will not overwhelm smaller works of art. Wide frames without mats can tend to feel like a part of the artwork itself.

  • As a general rule, choose lighter colored frames for art that is light or casual.

  • Choose dark frames for a more traditional, formal look.

  • Gold frames match a wide variety of art styles.

  • Frames that are too similar to the wall color will disappear into the wall.

  • Generally, the frame color should be different from the mat color. Similarly colored frames and mats can draw too much attention to themselves.


Selecting a mat board…


Perhaps the most complex step in purchasing a frame is deciding which mat board to use. Its basic purpose is to create an air space between the glass and the artwork so they do not stick to each other, but they also create a visual border between the frame and the art, drawing the viewer’s eye inward, towards the piece.


Including a mat board in your frame design is optional. It is quite acceptable to not use any matting at all.


There are three primary decisions to make when selecting a mat…color, the number of layers and quality grade of the materials.


  • Mats are available in nearly every color in the rainbow…but the best choice is simply the color/s that look best to you. We have more than 600 unique mat boards to choose from, so you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you.

  • Mat grade refers to how well the mat materials will preserve the artwork over time. Preservation is measured by the acidity level (pH-value) in the mat. The more acidic the material, the quicker the mat and the artwork will deteriorate over time. We’ll be happy to advise you regarding mat grades and what is most appropriate for your project.


Selecting the right glass.


Don't underestimate the importance of the glass used in your frame. Each type of glass has specific benefits.


  • Museum Glass®: Museum Glass is the highest quality anti-reflective picture framing glass. It is nearly invisible on a picture. It protects against 99% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays and has the highest light transmission along with the lowest reflection rating of any other product.

  • Conservation Reflection Control Glass: This glass provides 99% UV Protection, protecting your art from fading and discoloration caused by harmful light rays. It is chemically finished on one side, scattering light as it strikes the glass. This matte-like finish enhances the beauty of the art by protecting the piece from glare or distortion.

  • Conservation Clear Glass: Indoor and outdoor ultraviolet rays cause fading and discoloration. Paper can become faded, discolored, and brittle, causing irreversible damage that ruins the artwork. Conservation Clear framing glass with 99% UV protection helps protect art from fading by blocking harmful indoor and outdoor light rays, preserving art for years longer than regular glass. It does not have the anti-reflective qualities of reflection control or museum glass.

  • Reflection Control Glass: This glass provides limited UV Protection. It is chemically finished on one side, scattering light as it strikes the glass. This matte-like finish enhances the beauty of the art by protecting the piece from glare or distortion. It is probably the most commonly used glass for general framing purposes.

  • Premium Clear: Premium clear glass is an economical all-purpose glass that does not offer UV light filtering qualities or anti-reflective qualities.

  • Acrylic (plexiglass): Acrylic is often used with very heavy or large art to reduce the total weight of the finished piece. It can also be used in high traffic areas or areas where broken glass would be a hazard, such as a child's room. Acrylic is also used on extremely valuable or irreplaceable art, because it won't damage your art if it's broken. Acrylic is available with the same conservation properties as glass.