How to Repair Picture Matting

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Things You'll Need

  • Iron

  • Matting

  • X-acto knife

  • Cardboard

Picture matting can become damaged by broken glass or water or can discolor with age. The mat gives your picture a finished look by creating a frame within the frame. Choose a mat that complements your picture by using a color within the artwork. You want to pick a color of mat board that will not detract from the picture, but set off the artistry. For a clean, uniform appearance, a shade of white will always give your picture a classic look.


Step 1

Take the matting out of the frame to inspect it. Look at the front and back to find out if the mat can be repaired or is in need of replacement.

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Step 2

Use an iron to fix crinkled edges. Place a paper towel over the mat board, and with the iron on a low setting, iron the matting. Be careful not to burn the picture matting. A lot of mat board is made from cotton rag, which will respond well to ironing.


Step 3

Choose a mat board that is acid free for replacing your matting. Many framing places sell archival mat board because the paper will not slowly deteriorate your print. Look for brands like Bainbridge or Crescent for preserving your print or picture.

Step 4

Cut your new matting by using your old matting as a guide. With a pencil, outline the old dimensions of your matting onto the new mat board. Set the new mat board on a piece of card board. Cut out the outline with an X-Acto knife. You can use a measuring stick to keep your knife steady.


Step 5

Place your new matting and picture in the frame. Place one piece of matting in back of the picture to protect the picture's back from the frame.


Ask a framing company to cut out mat board for easy matting replacement.


Avoid placing artwork or colored matted frames in areas of sunlight to prevent fading.