View Full Version : Just how flat does a flat panel need to be? Projections on rear.

02-28-2019, 09:31 PM
This question is addressed to those of you who exhibit (and hopefully sell) oil or acrylic paintings done on un-cradled flat panels, such as Amerpersand gessobord 1/8 inch. I am not counting miniatures, and I am not counting vast wall-filling works. Let's say the range of 8x10 to 16x20 or so.

The question is: Can there be projections on the rear of the board? These projections would be applied by the artist for technical reasons having to do with mounting. They would not be removable (at least, not easily).

It seems to me that very few such works would be displayed without some sort of frame, either traditional or floater. Among the most slender traditional frames I've seen, there is always at least 1/2 inch depth from where the front surface of the (un-glassed) art sits, to the rear of the frame where it might touch the wall. Therefore, I reason, a 1/8 inch board should cause no problem if it has 3/8 inch projections here and there, since these would not project beyond even the most slender traditional frame.

Floater frames allow even more clearance. In this case, any projections would have to be located in places where they would not interfere with shims (spacers) needed to mount the board within the frame. That's easy to do, with advance planning.

So, are there any exhibitors or clients who demand that a painting on a flat panel be devoid of rear projections?

Why I want to know: I can custom-make a method for holding flat panels by the rear surface, in a way that is very portable and protective. Existing methods, such as carriers made from fluted plastic materials (RayMar and others) may interfere with wet edges. My method (if it works!) won't have that problem, but it does involve permanently attaching something to the rear of the panel.

I don't plan on manufacturing this method; it is for my own use (as an amateur). But if anyone asks about it, I'd like to know if there could be issues regarding professional works.

Note that even simple things, such as Velcro, nevertheless require some amount of permanent attachment, unless one is willing to risk damage by removing them.

02-28-2019, 10:10 PM
For my next painting I'm going to use 1/2 inch MDF. Paint the edges black and drill out a mounting hole in the back. Takes care of both mounting and "framing" and the thickness means it will stay flat.

I don't think I answered your question though. :)

03-01-2019, 06:39 PM
I'm guessing here, but if the warping of a panel is any sort of concern, I would certainly not attach any sort of hanging projections to the back of the panel, because I'm almost positive that doing so may cause a panel to warp after it had hung on a wall for any length of time.

Panels are so easy to frame, I just can't imagine wanting to hang a panel without one.

03-02-2019, 01:32 AM
I personally like the look of gallery wrapped frames, which are much deeper than what you're thinking about. But still, something I was told recently may apply, and that was that most buyers are more attracted to paintings in frames.

Perhaps that's too much of a generalization, but something worth thinking about before coming to a decision about your own flatter pieces.

03-02-2019, 08:16 AM
As long as the projections aren't going to interfere with hanging or possibly cause wall damage, I don't think it matters much what is on the back of the panel as long as it looks at least somewhat professionally done.

I have left 'stuff' attached to the back of my panels before and never received any negative feedback.

03-02-2019, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the info. Looks like all will be OK.

I myself won't be doing sales or galleries. My application is strictly as a pastime. But I wanted to design my board-holder in such a way that it could readily be used by others, if they like it. Don't want to retro-fit.