Framing Terms

Learn about all the parts of a frame to consider when buying your picture frame. 

Frame or Moulding

The frame, or the moulding, is the part that frames the artwork or image inside. Frames come in various shapes, materials, sizes, styles and colors to fit your needs. When measuring and choosing a frame, it is important to note that the dimensions reflect the inside opening of the frame. The actual frame will be bigger, depending on the width of the moulding you choose. For example, a 4x6" frame listed may actually have a final frame dimension of 6x8" when you add in the 1" moulding width of the selected style.   

Facing or Glazing

In custom picture framing, glass, acrylic, and/or a frame's protective front is referred to as "glazing." While glass is a common glazing material used in these items, it is heavy and prone to breaking during shipment. Acrylic is more lightweight, shatter-resistant, and has UV protection properties, making it a great material to hang in your home. We are proud to offer a standard framer's grade acrylic glazing options on our site. Note: Our acrylic is shipped with a blue protective film on both sides, which needs to be peeled to reveal the acrylic before framing your artwork or photograph. 

Mat or Matting

A mat is a 4-ply or 8-ply thick, acid-free cotton paper that goes inside a frame with your artwork. Mats add additional decoration to the finish of your display. They separate your art from the glass to protect it from water damage, mold and mildew. In addition, some artwork components can't be glued to a mounting board, so the mat is crucial to hide evidence that these pieces of artwork are framed using photo corners or other alternative mounting methods. 


The rabbet depth is an important measurement that equates to a usable depth to hold your artwork or keepsake. It is especially important when creating a shadow box frame for 3-dimensional objects or a canvas frame for a stretched canvas. The rabbet depth is the space between the frame's front and back that holds your artwork (or keepsake), backing and acrylic in place. Typically, the glazing and backing take up ¼" of the listed rabbet depth for a frame, so you should subtract ¼" off the rabbet to get the usable depth.

Mounting or Backing

The purpose of a mounting or backing board is to help prepare and preserve art in a frame. These boards are stiff and support the picture or print inside the frame. It also protects against the elements because it closes off the back of the frame so that your images are sandwiched between the glass and the board. The backings of our frames are held in place with push tabs which can be lifted with a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife to access the area to frame your artwork.