View Full Version : Wallis to board, how?

04-09-2007, 08:46 PM
What adhesive would you recommend to attach Wallis paper to a stiff backing? What type of backing would you/do you use?

Thanks in advance. This forum has been very helpful to me.


04-09-2007, 10:56 PM
There are a few threads in Kitty's section where they discuss this.

Here's one good thread:

04-10-2007, 02:04 AM
The best way is to have it heat press mounted with archival tissue to 100% rag mat board. This is what my teacher recommends and what I use. I have also had it heat mounted to archival matt board that is thicker. That is the very best method but in a pinch I have used 3M spray mount 77 and attached it to matt board or gator board. Gator board is not archival, however, so you would need a barrier paper if you want archival quality. The spray mount is messy though, you have to wear gloves and use it outdoors.

Paula Ford
04-10-2007, 06:52 AM
Shari, Where do you get it heat press mounted? At a framing shop?


maggie latham
04-10-2007, 09:22 AM
I mount Wallis museum paper onto white gator foam board, using a good quality acrylic gloss medium. I use gator foam the same size as the outside dimensions of my mat, and center mount a piece of Wallis paper one inch larger all around than my opening. It is a great lightweight support. :clap:

04-10-2007, 12:57 PM
So... here's my question. I was told by an archival framer that you should never mount your works on paper to anything. It should always hang or be hinged from the mat in order to be recognized as a true work of art.

Have you heard this?

Paula Ford
04-10-2007, 01:53 PM
I've heard that also Barb. In my experience though, the corners of my paper curl, so that is when I started bonding my Wallis paper to acid-free foamboard with a bonding film from Jerry's.


Deborah Secor
04-10-2007, 01:59 PM
All I can say, Barb, is that Albert Handell has his Wallis mounted to acid-free Fomecor, and he has work in museums...so why argue? Framers seem to disagree with musum curators a lot!

I use the same spray glue as Shari mentioned, Spray 77, no problems. It gets easier to handle with experience and I do it in my studio (if it's just one quick sheet.)


Paula Ford
04-10-2007, 02:02 PM

Do you use the same size foamcore as your paper? Or, is the foamcore much larger to leave a space for the mat?


Bill Foehringer
04-10-2007, 02:17 PM
I've used acrylic gesso to mount wallis to untempered masonite. It works well. I do have concern that it is not archival in the sense that it is not removable.
The heat reversible adhesives would probably offer a method to fasten paper to masonite or plywood panels.
Now, the question of the acidity of the panels must be considered.
The reason I mounted Wallis on masonite was to give a solid support while painting and later to simplify framing and storing. Another reason I went to the panel mount is that once the wallis is mounted to a masonite panel the wallis can be soaked with water and it won't deform. This is handy when I use watercolors in the field to undertone the paper.
Some artists apply sanded gesso to panels then apply pastels directly. There is then no way to remove the pastel from the panel at all.
At some point each method will break down over time.
Even an oil painting on canvas is exposed to the acid in the wooden stretchers.
The basic method of hanging, (like watercolors), with tape to acid free board sandwiched with acid free mat under glass may just be the best archival method.
I'm really undecided. Maybe what is needed is a temporary method to mount to board until ready to frame. Like simply taping corners to a board.
I had some oak panel left over from a project and made four 12x16 panels sealed with linseed oil. I use these to tape wallis paper down while working in the field. I also use some old frederix canvas panels but they were getting a little ragged. I still use them tho. I can get 4 more oak ply 12x16 panels out of what's left.
I use 12x16 because that's the size of my pochade.

Marc Hanson
04-10-2007, 05:06 PM
Although I agree that if Albert Handell mounts to Acid free foam core, it's probably going to be done by others. I'm not as confident as he must be. I remember seeing the 1989 Sorolla exhibit in St. Louis, MO and seeing all of Sorolla's 'apuntes', or pochades. He painted right on what we now call gray tagboard, and corrugated cardboard. He's in museums, but they sure wish he'd used something that caused them less grief, that wasn't falling apart by the day.
Just yesterday I was framing for a friend in her shop and had to remove some charcoal drawings that had been hinged properly to foam core, the non acid free variety. The paper was Canson and Ingres charcoal paper. Though only done in the 80's, these charcoals had yellowed so severly that I thought that the paper color was an antique white or a buff.
But that could have been light, the cover paper on them, or the surface of the foam core board.
What was scarry was the condition of the foam core itself. The core was gold, it had yellowed so much. It was powdering and brittle. If you squeezed it between your fingers it just crushed into a dust.
Other than a final backing in a frame to finish the job, I just don't like the foam core as a base for art of any kind. It's soft and bendable, can be punctured easily, and is acidic even with the acid free barrier it has.

Even Gator Board gets it's share of dents and dings, and that's some pretty hard stuff to dent.

I'm a fan of 8 or 12 ply rag board, or rag matboard, carefully dry mounting the paper to it. You need to watch that too. The heat from the press can also melt the plastic (acrylic) primer and ruin the 'tooth' that the Wallis paper has.

For oil painters it can also melt the oil primer if left in the heat press too long. I know this because I've done it! You know, live and learn and I'm doing a lot of learning. :)

Just my opinion. ;)

04-10-2007, 05:50 PM
Richard just covered this issue in class last week. He says foam core and even gator board sometimes can dent. Most framers want a hard surface and if you do plein aire, you will want your paper mounted to a board, then you can easily pop it into a frame. We have two local framers who use the archival heat mount method and after using it, I won't go back to anything else. It is really good. Dakota now has boards that they sell of wallis heat press mounted and they are nice, but unfortunately they mount it without a border, so the Wallils goes all the way to the end of the board. I just have mine custom done now for $5 a board up to 12 x 16 and a little more over that. Everyone has their favorite methods and you have to find what works for you. I am very fond of the heat mounting but, as Richard stresses, you really have to make sure they use the archival tissue when it is heat mounted. Apparently the framers that suggest hinging with tape are used to the old fashioned way of doing it, and it works, but it is not a great idea with pastels, a hard board is more secure. I am sure there will be a lot of info on this at IAPS. The problem with the 3m 77 spray mount is that it smells very bad and is very toxic. The smell takes a long time to dissipate so if I put a lot of boards in a carry all and tote them around, every time I open it, I get the toxic smell so I prefer to have my boards mounted professionally by someone with a heat press and I have never had any problem with the paper since doing that. ALSO - NOTE: If you want to use any kind of water media underpainting, it is very necessary to heat mount, or you will get buckling, especially with the pro grade. I only use museum grade now because it won't buckle. Sorry to ramble on so.

maggie latham
04-11-2007, 08:38 AM
Wow! Such a lot of good advice and info. I was really happy with the gator foam board before this discussion got started! Now I am a little confused! I wish Wallis would come up with a firm support with the same characteristics as their paper. It is the paper that drives me to finding ways to mount it! I have tried many other pastel boards and surfaces (including making my own with pumice and aluminum oxide grit), but for my method of working nothing comes close to Wallis paper. I do use the Wallis board from Dakota, but it tends to buckle, and is prone to warping in the heat and humidity down here. I have read conflicting articles about gator foam core on the Internet….does any one know for sure…is it.. or is it not archival? Liquitex assures me that their acrylic mediums used as a bonding agent will not yellow etc.

nana b
07-01-2007, 01:37 AM
Maggie, I know that none of the boards, foamcore, mat etc, at Hobby Lobby are acid free. That is what they told me. They said if it doesn't say it's acid-free then it's not. They will sell acid-free foam board from their framing dept. It is what they use for framing and you pay full price, you can't use coupons on it. That is what I use for the backing when I am framing. I did a lot of investigating into the best way to frame and came to the conclusion a year ago to do my own framing and to use only acid-free materials. That way you know you have done the best you can and will be able to answer any concerns from your buyers.

nana b

Katherine T
07-02-2007, 03:53 AM
So... here's my question. I was told by an archival framer that you should never mount your works on paper to anything. It should always hang or be hinged from the mat in order to be recognized as a true work of art.

Have you heard this?That's correct - insofar as that's the classic way of mounting for any paper-based work of art once it's finished.

However Wallis is not as thin as paper and my reading of this thread suggests that the considerations here are partly about making it easier to work with prior to mounting.

And I think a true work of art probably depends on who did it rather than who mounted and framed it! ;)

07-02-2007, 10:59 AM
Agreed! Signed by the artist... and the artist is ME!!!

Bill Foehringer
01-25-2008, 11:24 AM
I use foam core with acid free paper as a final backing to lighten the total frame weight but the Wallis is hinge-mounted to 100% rag acid free buffered board. The other method I use is to gesso masonite or birch panels then when dry paint on another coat of acrylic gesso promptly laying the Wallis on the wet gesso and pressing lightly before 'pressing' between rigid panels with heavy weights.
This is not a high volume production method but if I keep at it I can keep ahead of my artistic out put, lol.
I would say that if one is 'permanently' glueing paper to a board then the board itself must be as stable as possible. Foam will fall apart in time, it just will.
I've been using scraps of foam board coated with gesso for some of my oil painting EXPERIMENTS. (Most oils have been on birch panels or masonite.) I don't see any of the paintings on foam being worth anything so I'm not worried about longevity. I've also used foam core to make my oil color charts because that's what I had on hand. I wish I had made them on masonite, at least.
I'm thinking about using something other than foam-core as the final protective backing even though it's not in direct contact with the wallis. Thin 1/8 wood panels maybe but wood is acidic. Maybe just another layer of 100% ragboard is enough?
As I learn more the tried and true methods look better and better, at least there is some history.
Any thoughts on the final backing board?