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Peter Taylor: 1 August 2003

Mounting and Framing

(Informal notes by Sam Dauncey)


Peter Taylor gave a mass of hints and warnings, prompted by members' questions.

To repair frames with superficial damage, repair with plaster (seal with gesso) and/or with a wax-based finish like Goldfinger. Clean the glass before putting it into the frame. Not Windowlene - it leaves a deposit. Lighter fluid or proprietary cleaners from a glass shop (or Betterware) are best. To avoid finger marks, he finishes with two yellow dusters, first round edges then both sides. To avoid UV damage to picture or mount you can get UV-filtering glass but it is very expensive.

Ivory/off-white mounts are safer. If you want to be bolder, pick colours that appear in small areas of the picture. If using double or triple mounts let different widths show (e.g 1/8 & 3/8 inch). Unless you want to risk foxing in a decade or so, allow only acid-free materials to touch artwork. Most modern mount board is now acid-free. You can get white-core board so that the core does not brown with UV light. Mount slips give a coloured (usually gilt) edge to the mount but are a fiddle to do.

Common mounting faults are to fail to put an acid-free barrier between the back of the picture and any non-acid-free backing board, and to forget to use acid-free tape to attach the picture.

The professional way to mount is (i) to hinge the mount to the barrier/backing with tape, (ii) locate the picture, exactly, on the barrier/backing under the mount, (iii) hold the picture down with, say, heavy matchboxes, whilst you (iv) lift the mount and (v) attach the picture to the barrier/backing. . . . .

. . . The perfectionist's way to attach the picture is to stick two small pieces of acid-free sticking tape under the top of it, sticking up to form two tabs which are attached to the barrier with a couple more bits. The picture then just hangs from the tabs.

Tap assembled pictures/mounts/glass on bottom edge to get bits (fluff, pastel etc.) to the bottom (and out, possibly helped with a piece of thin card with soft paper wrapped round it). When you are sure its clear of bits, seal the edge (glass, mount, picture barrier board and backing) with tape (even Sellotape).

If damp may be a problem, stick little bumpers to the bottom edge of the frame to keep it away from the wall (better ventilation).

D-rings can be attached to the back of the frame or, better, to the backing board to reduce risk of damage to other pictures.

Peter Taylor sells materials as well as making frames at his
Farnborough Gallery, 26 Guildford Road West, Farnborough, Hants., GU14 6PU, 01252 518033

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