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

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