View Full Version : Mounting finished pastels

09-01-2013, 11:22 AM
I've been sort of figuring things out with pastels via trial and error, and am curious about whether what I've been doing as far as mounting a finished pastel work seems logical or not. :)

I attach it to the backing board using photo corners, and then use acid-free adhesive foam tape around the edges of the backing board to adhere the mat (so that it's raised off of the painting and dust can fall behind the mat). So far it's held up well, but I've only been doing pastels for less than a year, so I don't know whether that might cause long-term problems. Any suggestions?

09-01-2013, 12:23 PM
I've moved your post to our Talk section as this is a Talk subject rather than a picture, but ! have left a redirect - just in case.:D
I found this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=550743&highlight=Mounting+finished+pastels) in our materials section and I'm sure there are many more in this section...just use 'mounting finished pastels' as your search term...


09-02-2013, 05:50 PM
I am a hobbiest at pastels, do not sell, etc. but I do frame my pastels and have them all over the house. My pastel teacher explained to us how they did it in a frame shop she worked at. I will try my best to explain. Wish I had photo but here goes.

No tape touches the front of the pastel. Line up pastel on your backing board making sure it will sit well under mat opening. Put a piece of framing/acid free tape under each of the corners so that you will have extra tape sticking out both sides of the corner. Using those "tabs" of tape sticking out, tape down the pastel to the board. She then lays the mat, face down at the top of the board and tapes them together, like a "tape" hinge. The mat then comes down over the pastel.

Hope this makes sense. I actually started taping my pastel paper to my board this way so that I use the entire paper area. I was finding using tape right on the edge of the paper often left me with a painting too small for a standard mat. This works great unless you are in humid weather, which we have in NJ, and several hours have passed so the paper starts to curl. (I use Wallis Sanded and yes it curls in humid weather.)

I understand most people use spacers when framing without a mat. I have never done that. I frame right under a mat. I still have one of my first pastels done on pastel paper, taped in with painters tape and kept in a small bathroom only feet away from shower for almost 10 years and it looks in great shape. I am sure not good for long term but as I always say, when I go, people will be fighting over the frames. :lol:


09-02-2013, 07:06 PM
I think your method should work fine. It's a good idea to leave a space between painting and mat so that any pastel dust that falls will fall behind the mat. And photo corners should work fine as they keep the front of the painting "tape free."

There is no one way to mat and frame. Lately, framing without a mat has become the way to go - at least in my neck of the woods. Framing without a mat has some advantages, and spacers are fairly cheap and easy to install.

When I do use a mat, I "hinge-tape" the painting to the backing board. This sounds similar to Pam's method, but rather than tape all the corners, I just put two pieces of tape along the top edge of the painting. The tape is on the back of the painting and sticks up beyond the painting. The next piece of tape goes over that exposed piece of tape and onto the backing board. The rest of the painting hangs free from those pieces of tape. I do this when using a fairly light weight paper or board for my painting. When I use a heavier weight board, I have used something similar to corner hinges called "See-Thru Mounting Strips." When adding the mat, I never tape it to anything. Every piece is placed in the frame independently, but since they are all cut to the frame size, nothing gets out of position. I often use a second mat with an opening cut larger than the mat that is visible as a spacer. I think it is perfectly OK to tape the backing board to the mat, but for whatever reason, I like every piece to be free to expand and contract with temperature and humidity. That is why I only hinge tape from one edge, so that the painting is free to expand without buckling. Not sure that it is really necessary and could just be a personal idiosyncrasy.


09-03-2013, 07:08 PM
Those descriptions are very helpful--thank you!