Did you know that mounting a photograph is illegal in Arkansas? šŸ˜‰

When we ask you about how you would like your art “mounted,” you actually have a fair number of options. The mounting process is what adheres the art to a substrate, typically an rigid board of some kind that holds the image flat.

If you were doing it yourself, you might use masking tape and a piece of cardboard behind the image. Believe it or not, we see that a few times each month. The issue with that type of “mount” is two-fold. One, cardboard is not acid-free, and the acids in cardboard will generally break down either the image or the tape or both. Additionally, masking tape is neither archival nor acid-free, so it too will damage your art AND it won’t stick forever.

At The Framing Department, we use several different kinds of substrates, adhesives and techniques to ensure that your art lasts a lifetime.

The Framing Department Mounting Examples

Types of substrateĀ we use most often:

  • Acid-Free Foam: this foam is 3/16 thickness and is an inexpensive permanent way to mount any kind of image. (top left in above image)
  • Acid-Free Matboard: the “standard” substrateĀ is inexpensive, fairly flexible and easy to modify later, if need be. It comes in a HUGE variety of colors, which is great for creating a border that matches the colors of your art. (bottom right in above image)
  • Acid-Free Matboard (8 ply): Double thickness matboard for extra rigidity.
  • Gator-Foam: Far more rigid than matboard or foam – this is a little more expensive and is a popular option for mounting posters
  • Metal Dibond: This is 3mm aluminum that comes in a variety of brushed finishes including copper, black, stainless, and straight aluminum. Great to show a metallic border on posters and photographs. Very permanent mounting and very rigid as well. This is one of our most expensive mounting tools. (bottom right in above image)
  • E-Panel Dibond: Another aluminum sub-straight, but this is white and less expensive than the brushed finish dibond. Great for “flush mounting” with no border. A little more flex but still very rigid. (top left in above image)

The other half of the mounting equation is the adhesive. Some types of adhesive are reversible – so that if the matboard gets damaged or the art needs to be re-framed or re-mounted at a later date, it can be done without damaging the art. These processes are typically more time consuming and more expensive. We use several kinds of archival, conservation quality adhesive depending on the sub-straight and the type of art.

When you come in to get your art framed, please feel free to ask about the different mounting options! We would be happy to explain what we have available and our recommendation for your particular piece of art.

Top 6 Mounting Choices