View Full Version : Framing Pastels

12-08-2002, 03:44 PM
I'm having some trouble figuring out what rabbet depth to use for my pastels, so I thought I'd take a poll. What depth do most folks use? (I'm thinking that the total package would include the backboard, the artwork, a double mat, some sort of spacer such as the EconoSpace device and glass.) I also find it hard to get frames with a deep enough rabbet in a style I like. (Said style is generally natural wood with a light finish, nuthin' fancy.)

I know this question sounds inane, but after spending an hour on-line going through frame supplier sites, I'm curious.

12-08-2002, 03:52 PM
Also...what thickness glass do most folks use?

12-09-2002, 07:57 AM
Not sure this will help you much .... but I sometimes frame my works in standard frames, the type you put together yourself, which I order from a framer. They have a standard rebate or whatever you call it, and it is plenty deep enough for my usual approach which is
1. Backing board
2. Picture
3. Double Mount
4. Glass (comes with the frame)
and there is still room for an extra piece of card inside if I wanted to put the picture, which is usually on pastel paper or card, onto another background.

I do not use spacers, don't think they are necessary and don't like the shadow they throw. If you bash the painting hard, to remove any loose pastel crumbs, and perhaps even place another piece of paper over the top and press down hard to press the pastel firmly into the surface, it should not shed. (Not unless you knock the painting around anyway, and if you do that, even with spacers, the pastel will come off onto the glass.)


Mikki Petersen
12-10-2002, 01:57 PM
I have been using standard gallery frames purchased from Utrecht. They are inexpensive, come in blond woood, a reddish wood, white or black, complete with a matt and glass. They are about an inch deep (rabbit) to contain as many layers as you might want. Best of all, at Utrecht, they run about $18.00 for a mat and frame to fit an 11"x14" image. These frames are very simple but make an elegant presentation of pastel works.

12-10-2002, 02:09 PM
I've heard that people are framing pastels directly against the glass. Or did I misunderstand something? Wouldn't there be a condensation problem?

To address Michael's question, I use about 1/4 inch spacing. But I haven't been doing it long so don't know how well it will do over longer times.

Glass thickness? Never considered it. Now I'm going to be worrying about that too. :rolleyes:


12-10-2002, 10:27 PM

Am not an expert but I frame my wife's works and most of her pastels we frame with the spacers and no mat. The glass is picture frame glass which is lighter and no quite as thick as regular household glass. It is 1/8 of inch, maybe a little smaller but if you use the econ-spacer it fits in the smaller groove. I use the black spacer that is 1/8 of space between the glass and the painting, you can't notice it at all, I believe the rabbet should be at least 1/2 deep that should give you more then enough room.

If the painting is matted i like to use 1/8 inche s foam board and cut strips, and glue to the back of the mat board and place the painting on the strips. You leave a 1/4 inch or more away from the opening of the mat, this gives room if the pastels comes off a little.

Hope this helps,

12-11-2002, 08:51 AM
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone. I think I have enough to go on now.