Friday, April 2, 2010

How to attach artwork or photos to matboard and backing board

I do my own matting and framing for my artwork, and I was recently asked how I attach my watercolor paintings to the other framing contents such as mat board and foam board when I am framing them. Sounded like a blog opportunity to me! So, without further ado, here's how I do it.

This process will work for any type of artwork on paper, including photography. It is called hinging, and is a good way to attach these items together in a way that they can be removed in the future without much risk of damage to the artwork.

1. These are the items I am assembling for the contents of my frame: Mat board cut to the proper size, with a window cut out for the art to show through, foam board cut to the same size as the mat board, and the artwork itself. Here I am using two pieces of mat board, and I have glued them together so they don't slide around.



2.The first thing I do is lay my painting face up in front of me, with the top of the painting toward me and the bottom of the painting away from me. I then cut pieces of acid free artists' tape and attach them to the back of the painting, at the top, with the sticky side up (as shown).



3. Then I position the mat board the way I want it over the painting, and lay it down on the painting, and press down in the spots where the tape are underneath.



4. Next I flip the whole thing over, mats and painting, and press down on the tape again firmly.










5. Then I cut two more pieces of tape and create a hinge. This step is not necessary, and sometimes I skip it for smaller paintings, but I always do it on large ones just to make sure it holds well to the mat board.




6. The next step is to attach the mat board to the foam board. The way I do it is to take two pieces of artists' tape and stick them to the edge of the mat board, at the top, with half of the pieces hanging off the edge.




7. Then lay the edge of the piece of foam board against the mat board as shown, and use the pieces of tape to secure them together.




8. Finally, bring the mat board and foam board together, using the pieces of tape as hinges, and you're done!












Please leave your questions or comments below. If I've helped you, I want to hear about it, and if you don't understand something or want to know more, I want to help!

To see my art, new and old, please visit my website www.lauraposs.com.

Got twitter? Follow me! Got facebook? Fan me!

25 comments:

  1. Great Post Laura! Your always so helpful! I think I'll have to start matting this way, I'm always trying to look at it and hold it and tape it, makes so much more sense to lay it down!

    ReplyDelete
  2. very nice demonstration. I was wondering if you did a hinge or glued on the foam board, because I saw some glue in one of your photos. Thanks for the blog, it is very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amber,
    I'm glad I'm helful! That's what I'm going for! Thanks so much for letting me know, I hope you find it easier from now on! :D

    Pam,
    Yeah, someone else saw the glue in a photo I had on facebook and also thought I glued the paintings to the foam board. I would definitely never want to do that. I use the glue to attach the two mats to each other. Thanks for your comment, I'm glad to be helpful! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is how I do mine too !

    ReplyDelete
  5. what kind of cutter do you use, and do you get your mat supplies at cheap joes too?

    ReplyDelete
  6. would linen tape work just as well?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pam-
    I use a Logan Framer's Edge mat cutter and I love it. I don't buy my matting or framing supplies at Cheap Joe's, but only because I have a wonderful outlet near my home with a warehouse full of every kind of matboard and moulding at great prices.
    Cheap Joe's is definitely the place I turn for art supplies though- I love it!!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am not familiar with linen tape, but as long as it was acid free and fairly removable I would try it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for the help. I'm pretty new to framing art and your step by step instructions gave me beuatiful matted photos. Thanks again!

    foothill fibers n' photo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Foothill fibers n photo-
    I'm so glad my post was helpful to you, and I thank you for letting me know! Please come back to visit my blog again!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for posting this! I am trying to frame a watercolor piece and I couldn't find anything on the internet to help me figure out exactly how to tape the art, matt, and board together. This is exactly what I've been searching for.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for your help! Loved your paintings, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. If you are not going to frame the matted picture right away, what would you use to seal the sides and the bottom of the mat to the backing? Linen tape or something else?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I read your technique and understand it clearly. Thanks so much. My question is the same as from Anonymous on June 3, 2011, but I didn't see your reply. I want to sell matted photos without the frames. After the hinging, what is the best way to seal the mat and backing? Thanks for your help. Gail

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the questions!
    When I sell paintings or prints that are not framed, only matted, I hinge them the same way, and then I enclose them in a clear poly sleeve. They are available from many places online, but most notably www.clearbags.com.

    If you wanted to seal them with tape, like artist's tape or linen tape, you could do so, but it has been my experience in the past that, if you do this, once the piece is eventually framed you will be able to see the tape around the edges, even if just a little bit.

    Hope that helps, and let me know if you have other questions! (I promise to answer more quickly this time!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your demonstration was very helpful to me. Just the information I was hoping to find.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for your help. I also love your watercolor painting.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for you step by step process. I'm in my first art festival this June and I would like to use foam board as my backing. It was very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for reading, Khai. Good luck with your first festival!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Super demonstration, Laura, thank you!! Just one question however....... what is the reason for only hinging artwork to a mount?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm sorry, but I don't understand the question. What else would you like to hinge it to? :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for this fantastic post! This is my first matting and mounting of a photograph and your instructions are nice and clear...the pictures really help!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you so very much for your clear, concise demonstration of how to add backing and mount board to a piece of artwork. I knew it should be taped somehow, but wasn't sure exactly how to go about it and your pictures and comments make it so easy. I've copied and printed it out so I'll have it for future reference! If you'd like to visit my artwork, goodnightsgallery.webs.com Thanks again!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Please leave your comments here.