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Old 05-10-2017, 02:31 PM
Kekkonen Kekkonen is offline
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Backing board opinions?

Hi,

Iím trying to figure a way to frame my oil pastel work myself using ready made frames. I donít want to use mats. Iím quite far in figuring out a decent method for framing, but I still havenít figured out everything.

I found a good online source for relatively cheap ready made picture frames that come with a glass (well, plastic probably). Instead of mats Iíll be using spacers (Frametek seems to make suitable ones) to separate the artwork from the glass. So far so good, I think.

Now there is one last thing to solve: the ready made frames come with an MDF board as the backing. Now Iím wondering if this would be an issue? I mean could the MDF board, being acidic, damage the artwork in the long run? If so, would it be possible to separate the artwork from the MDF board somehow? Or is it possible to treat the MDF board with something that would prevent (or slow down) any acid damage to the artwork?

Or should I replace the MDF board with some other material? Any recommendations?

Any opinions/help would be much appreciated!
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:03 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Backing board opinions?

If you use any wood or paper containing products like Masonite, hardboard, MDF, plywood etc. you will need to isolate the painting from the support surface. That can be done by simply coating the support with tome PVA or some other sealer.

I like to mount the finished pastel on a fairly rigid and thick (1/8 to 1/4 inch) support so it will be protected from the back and will lay flat. I almost always mount them before I work on the piece so it is perfectly flat at all times in the frame, but you don't have to. You can just hang it on the support with some archival hinges of paper.

You can use just about anything as the support surface as long as the part that is touching your painting is archival in nature.

Some stuff that I have used over the years, all archival varieties.
  • Foam Core (with at least one archival side and preferably an archival core)
  • Mat Board
  • Illustration Board
  • Tempered Hardboard (sealed)
  • ACM (Dibond or other aluminum panels)
I prefer Tempered Hardboard to MDF regardless of what the use is going to be.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:21 AM
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Steve Collins Steve Collins is offline
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Re: Backing board opinions?

You need to keep the "glass" away from the surface of the painting, something a mat does fairly well. In lieu of a mat, you can use a spacer. Check for a local custom frame shop who may be willing to sell some to you. They're not expensive. I own a frame shop and would sell them to you gladly. On most days, I'd sell you whatever I happen to have around.

As for "glass" (glazing), stay away from acrylic. Unless it's the pricey kind that has anti-static properties, static is a problem; particles of pastel will tend to collect on the inside of the glazing. For pastel or any other friable art, frame with real glass.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:08 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Backing board opinions?

I have never used oil pastels, but I am guessing dust isn't an issue?

As for glass in contact - I have found through significant research and testing that with regular pastels, not oil pastels, having the painting directly in contact with the glass, sealed on all 4 edges so that there is no movement and no dust can get in, is by far the best method for framing a pastel.

Some of the benefits:
  • You will have a better looking presentation, appearing as if there was nothing over the painting if you use Anti Reflective glass. Don't use Museum UV glass for this as it has an easily scratched coating on the inside, but rather use Water White AR with or without the UV with no concerns.
  • There is no way the painting can buckle or curl inside the frame. It will always be perfectly flat.
  • If sealed in a relatively dry room the chance of mold / fungus growth seems to be lower than leaving an open air gap where spores and humidity can migrate inward for years to come.
  • The amount of pastel dust that leaves the painting surface, particularly if the painting is transported long distances, is clearly less with the glass contact method. I would estimate after some bumpy road tests that the amount of pastel dust that leaves the painting can be 10 times greater with spacers.
  • Any pastel dust that does cling to the glass (often it is almost imperceptible) stays right where it belongs, rather than rattling around in the open space. You will NEVER have dust appearing later on the inside of glass or at the bottom that is out of place and causing a distraction.
  • Framing is significantly easier since you have a totally sealed package much like an oil painting done on a panel.
  • No objectionable pastel dust ever visible on the spacers or on the mat since there won't be any.
  • The customer can change frames with ease later if desired.
  • Shipping is a piece of cake. ZERO worries about crud being bounced around inside the air gap like with a mat or spacers. It can can even ship upside down with no concerns, eliminating the need for high dollar no tip shipping parameters.
  • No need to ever open it up to clean the inside of the glass years later when it can become pretty trashed with airborne dust and pastel fall off.
  • Works well for all but the most humid tropical environments, which would also give the same problems with a spacer or mat framed solution.
Some may comment on this thread that this is a very bad technique, probably having never tried it, but I use it whenever I can with fantastic results.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1298251


http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/art-demos-techniques/pastel-pointers-blog-passe-partout-framing
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:08 AM
Kekkonen Kekkonen is offline
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Re: Backing board opinions?

I'm replying a bit late, but thanks everybody for your suggestions! Pastel dust isn't an issue with oil pastels. Unfortunately I doubt it would be a good idea to frame oil pastels so that they touch the glass (this is because oil pastel never really fully cures or "dries", it's forever slightly "sticky").

I'll try Contumacious' suggestion below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by contumacious
If you use any wood or paper containing products like Masonite, hardboard, MDF, plywood etc. you will need to isolate the painting from the support surface. That can be done by simply coating the support with tome PVA or some other sealer.

Thanks!

Last edited by Kekkonen : 07-11-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:17 PM
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Dcam Dcam is online now
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Re: Backing board opinions?

Don't forget to ask this in the "Pastels" forum. A friendly crew and really smart as far as materials and methods.
I use acid free foam core for my pastels; at least I used to. Now unfortunately allergic to the dust.
Derek
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:55 PM
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Steve Collins Steve Collins is offline
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Re: Backing board opinions?

Framing oil pastels is unavoidably problematic. You can't frame without glass. Yet, if you do frame with glass, you have 2 bad choices.

One is direct contact with the glass, which guarantees damage over time caused by differences in expansion and contraction due to temperature and humidity between the painting and the glass, meaning that the glass will be moving back and forth on the surface of the painting, acting like subtle sandpaper. At best, the effects won't matter to whoever has it, but it still represents damage. Plus, if you ever try to remove the glass, you could easily damage it further.

The other choice is to use a mat or spacer to keep the glass away from the surface. The problem here is that fumes given off by the oil pastels will create a film on the inside surface of the glass. It might take a while and may not then be noticeable, but it's likely to happen.

The least negative way of framing would be behind glass with a mat, but with a spacer behind the mat to increase the distance from the glass. This will mitigate the affects of the fumes to some degree. Fixative (the kind made for oil pastels) should help too.
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