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For those of you who are about to venture into frame making and mount cutting it will be helpful to learn a few of the regularly used terms. Whilst this list is fairly extensive there are many more terms used that may have not been covered.

Assembly of artwork

Putting the glass, mount,artwork and backing together before putting them into the frame.

ATG Tape

Double sided tape used for double and triple mounting, attaching artwork and used with kraft paper to keep the frame free from dust.

ATG (Automatic tape gun)

A dispenser for applying double sided tape.


The board which supports the artwork, holding it into the frame and often against the glass.


A slanted angle at which mounts are cut.


A method of shaping and / or shaping fabric (as in needlepoint, cross stitch, other fiber arts or oil painting canvas)


A thin nail with a very small head.
Usually self-adhesive corner protrusions added to the lower back corners of the frame to keep it straight on the wall and to prevent the framed art from rattling whenever the wall shakes or there is a strong breeze.
Burnishing a Frame  
Using a awl or the side of a screwdriver to make a couple of quick strokes on the frame. This causes the wood fibres to lie down so they more neatly meet each other.
Moulding that has been precut / mitred to a specific size.

Corner Clamp  
A device used to hold two sides of a frame while their mitred corners (usually at 45 degrees) are being glued and nailed.


Attaching paper, cloth, or another material of artwork to a firm backing (foam core, Plexiglas or substrate), using adhesives with heat and / or pressure.

Dust Cover  
Usually kraft paper (like brown grocery-bag material) applied to the back of a frame with adhesive, to keep out dust and bugs.
Easel Backing  
A backing used to support free-standing frames.
Filler Board  
The last piece added to a frame before it is closed. It may be foam core, acid- and alkaline neutral board or mount board, but not regular corrugated cardboard because of its acid content.


A decorative strip of wood, usually gold or silver in colour, placed next to art or between mounts.
A process of displaying art so that all its edges are visible.

Foam-Core Board  
A lightweight board which is made of polystyrene sandwiched between two smooth papers. It is excellent for use as a backing or substrate.

Framing Vice  
A vice used to hold cut pieces at a 90 - degree angle for accurate assembly.


The material used to protect the artwork in a picture frame. It is available in standard sizes. There are also different types of glass. Picture glass is thinner, less likely to have flaws, and more expensive than single-strength glass. Non-glare, non-reflecting glass is much more expensive and diffuses the image in some cases, but is useful, perhaps even necessary, in locations where there is a lot of glare.
Glass Cutter  
A glass-cutting tool shaped like a pencil, with a small wheel at one end used to secure the glass.
Fitting, furnishing, or securing with glass.

A small piece of paper that holds artwork in place. It can be made of various materials, including Japanese paper, liner tape, or pressure-sensitive tape.

Kraft paper  
Brown wrapping paper often used on the back of frames as a dust cover.

An insert between the artwork and the frame opening (essentially a frame within a frame) that is used with oil painting on canvas and for a second or third mount when multiple mounts are used.


The materials the art is made from. Common examples are oil, watercolour, pastel, acrylic and charcoal.

A joint formed by joining two pieces of wood at the corner of a picture frame.

Mitre Vice  
A tool used for holding two pieces of framing wood as they're attached with glue and brads to form a corner.

Strips of wood used to make frames or the basic outsides of the frames.

To secure an object or artwork to a backboard using adhesive of some kind.

Mount Board  
A heavy paper board from which mounts and backing board are cut. It can be acid-free, 100 percent rag, or regular. Regular mount board has an acid-free core and backing, but the top coloured paper can still be acidic.


Mount Cutter  
A device which cuts the holes (windows) in mounts. There are many brands of cutter. Your choice will depend on the amount of money you care to spend and the amount of convenience you require from your cutter.
A lightweight acrylic glazing especially useful for larger picture frames or when shipping picture frames. The material's electrostatic attraction can make it a dust magnet, so it is unsuitable for use with charcoal and like media.

Primary Mount  
The piece of mount board directly underneath the artwork that touches it.

A notch or dado on the inside edge of a wooden frame that holds all the parts of the artwork being framed.
A type of mount board. Rag is cloth converted to pulp for making paper. The finest mount boards are made of paper with a very high rag content.


Screw eyes  
Screws with small eyelets at one end that are used to attach the hanging wire to the back of the wooden frame.

Secondary Mount  
The mount which is closer to the glass than the primary mount. While the primary mount is usually white, the secondary mount will often be a colour.

Material used to prevent artwork from touching the glass. It can be made of whatever is convenient, such as strips of wood, mount board, lath or any commercial product designed for this use.