The Best Way to Frame Your Posters

Most of us own at least a few posters—they’re a fun and relatively inexpensive way to show off your style and decorate your walls. While they’re easy to buy, framing them can seem complicated. If you have any posters that have been tucked into a cabinet or sitting in a cardboard tube for years, we have good news! Framing your posters is actually easy with the help of custom framing. We’ll explore the most popular options for turning your posters into fabulously framed wall decor!

Getting Started

First things first, take a good look at your poster. Is it colorful, subdued, or monochromatic? Does it have a modern design, a retro vibe, or an antique look? Does it have lots of negative space (empty space around the focal point of the image) or is it very busy? Keep these factors in mind when making your custom framing choices—you’ll want to go with options that both highlight your art and enhance your personal decor style.

Mat Options

Your matting choice will have a big impact on your finished frame. While we generally advise using a mat or two, some posters really do look better without a mat (also called full-bleed framing). If your poster has a lot of negative space and/or an ultra-minimalist look, skip the mat.


For other poster styles, go with a mat. Look at the colors in your poster. Is the palette mostly warm or cool hues? Next, pinpoint the undertones by noting which colors are the third or fourth most predominant.


  • Opt for a neutral mat (white, ivory, grey, beige, or black) that balances the artwork and works with your poster’s warm or cool palette.

  • For a bolder look, choose a color mat that highlights one of your poster’s undertones.

  • For a hint of color, pair a neutral main mat with an accent mat in a color from your poster.

Frame Options

Posters with a graphic look work well with simpler frames—which also happen to fit in with many different decor styles. Retro and antique posters may pair well with more detailed frames, such as an Art Nouveau advertisement with a frame featuring a botanical motif. Choose a frame material and color that complements the poster art and the space where it will hang.


  • Wood adds a warm, natural element; light options skew bohemian, medium tones feel modern, and darker woods look more antique.

  • Metal is cool and modern; black is sleek, gold exudes luxury, and gray has an industrial feel.

  • Black and white frames are both classic options that work in almost any space.

  • Highlight an undertone in the poster with a color frame; get extra eclectic with a frame in a complementary color.

Mounting Options

If you’re framing your poster with a mat, there are two main mounting options. You can choose between traditional mounting, in which the mat overlaps the edges of your artwork, or float mounting, in which your artwork is above the mat.


Traditional mounting is great for most posters, but choose float mounting for any of the following situations.


  • The paper edges have interesting characteristics you’d like to highlight.

  • The artwork fills the entire poster, all the way to the edges.

  • You want the poster to have more dimension for a dramatic look.

Glazing Options

Lastly, you can choose your glazing. There are two material options: glass and acrylic. Glass is generally less expensive, but it is heavier and can break. Acrylic tends to cost a bit more, but it is more lightweight and shatter-resistant. Both glass and acrylic glazing are available in standard and conservation grade options.


  • Choose conservation glazing to protect posters from the damage and fading caused by UV light. Great for special art you want to preserve or more delicate vintage pieces.

  • Opt for standard glazing if UV protection is not a concern. This is fine for inexpensive prints in areas without much light.

We hope you feel inspired to frame all your favorite vacation photos after reading our step-by-step guide! Looking for more custom framing advice? Read How to Choose the Best Picture Frames for Your Decor Style.