View Full Version : how are you framing your prints?

brian steinberger
17-Mar-2005, 22:28
i've just started seriously framing my own finished prints. i am framing my prints, double matted, both white mattes, with black cores, and using a small black wooden molding. i'm curious as to how everyone else frames their final prints.

17-Mar-2005, 23:01
Brian, I'm framing mine about the same. Most of my prints are 11x14 or so, placed in a 20x24 or so frame. The sizes are adjusted for looks. Prints are drymounted to a 4-ply back board. Double matts are placed on top, both white, but occasionally certain prints get a black inner matt. Frames are wood, about 3/4" wide and 1-1/4" deep, and painted on all sides (even the insides). I've been using an anti-reflection coated glass, instead of the standard non-glare etched glass, because the prints appear sharper. All materials are archival. Drymount may be a questionable practice, but I just like the way the print looks. Hope this helps

18-Mar-2005, 04:38
Pt/PD prints corner mounted on 4 ply rag over matted with 4 ply. Framed in 3/4" black walnut with tru-vue anti- glare glass. Archival backing board. Ring hangers with wire.

Bruce Watson
18-Mar-2005, 07:21

Not a lot I can add to that...

18-Mar-2005, 11:53
been doing it the same way for years ...

corner mounted to 2-ply board, with a 4-ply overmat that leaves a border of about 3/16".
matts are about 3" wide on the top and sides, 3-1/2" on the bottom.
most of my prints are small (11x14 down to 4x5 contacts). larger prints get more mat area and wider borders.
foam core backing board.

i use exeter board from light impressions. it's acid and lignin free but not 100% rag.
i had trouble over the years with 100% rag museum board attracting little bugs .. the alkaline buffering in the exeter board seems to keep them away. it's fine for any work that doesn't require a neutral pH. and it costs a bit less.

for frames i have a bunch that i assembled and finished from precut wood moulding, from a company called westfall framing ... don't think they're around anymore, but it was an economical way to make lots of custom frames. the moulding is simple and stained black. my work has also been framed by galleries for specific shows; typically with black metal nielsen frames. not quite as nice, but the effect is about the same: simple and black, not taking any attention away from the work.

by the way, i learned the hard way how helpful it is to standardize on a few print sizes (and corresponding mat and frame sizes). this lets you re-use mats and frames, so each and every picture you print doesn't have to turn into a custom framing project. at any given time, most of my work is in flat files. i put it in a frame only if i want to hang it up, or if it's getting shipped to a show that needs the work framed by me.

austin granger
18-Mar-2005, 12:32
I do it Edward Weston style, dry mounting the print on a 4ply board (westminster bright white) and then cutting the overmat (another westminster 4ply bright white) so that the print is 'floating' there with about two-eighths of an inch of space around the top and sides and about three-eights of an inch of space at the bottom. I sign my name in this space below the right hand corner of the print. Though this method can really be a pain, I think it looks clean and classic.

I mount 4x5 prints on 11x14 mats, 8x10 prints on 14x17 mats, and 11x14 prints on 16x20 mats.

As far as frames go, just plain matte finish aluminum 'standard' style. My basic philosophy is that the frame should almost disapear.

Oh, and after experimenting with plexiglass, I've now gone back to old fashioned glass. The plex just scratched too easily and also seemed to attract the dust like mad.

Paul Butler
20-Mar-2005, 05:50
I use a variety of read-made frames, and lately I have had good luck with Nielsen-Bainbridge units, both metal and wood.

I always use acid-free everything. Acid free mat board and acid free foamcore. I cut my own mats. I seem to generally be using black and "nickel" the most often lately, as colors. Both with a white core. I have used a few brands of mat board. Double mats look great, if you have the ambition (I cut both layers out and then adhere them to each other with aerosol photo adhesive before mounting the print because careful alignment is critical).

I either (depending on the size of the print) dry-mount directly to the foamcore with aerosol photo adhesive and a brayer (putting a clean piece of paper over the print when I press it down), or use acid-free linen tape, and then I "hinge" the mat to the foamcore with the acid-free linen tape before putting the whole assembly into the frame. Things stay put with this method.

I have a Logan model 450 mat cutter that was bought on sale at Jerry's Art-A-Rama very reasonably. I have never felt the need to have a more elaborate mat cutter; this one is fantastic.

If you play your cards right, you can use the cut-out inner section of the mats for your largest prints, as the mat board for your smaller work but you have to be careful not to mark up the smaller cutout when you cut it from the larger board.

It really pays to get boxes of stuff wholesale, or as close to wholesale as you can, if you have a local art supply store that is amenable to selling to you in bulk.

David Karp
20-Mar-2005, 10:35
Dry mount prints to 4 ply white board. Overmat with 4 ply white board with cut with a window so the photo "floats." Framed in aluminum frames with glass on one side and acid free foam core on the back.