• Welcome! You will have to REGISTER a free account, before you can access the system. If you already registered, please LOG IN. (top right)
    If you can't remember your password, CLICK HERE to reset it. If you have questions, feel free to click the CONTACT US link at the bottom of this page.

Question Backing Paper/Tape doubt

LifeSaver Cloud from LifeSaver Software, Inc.

Marcio Silva

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Portugal
Hi guys!

I would like to ask the arquival experts in here about the role of backing paper/tape in framing, is this procedure really necessary if both the matboard and mountboard are very tight to the frame?
I am trying to avoid having to seal it with tape or paper on the back mainly for aeshtetics, i would love to have simply the mountboard with the rigid points visible and thats it, is this doable? Or is there any other method that would make a tight seal on the inside edge of the mountboard, perhaps something like foam that would be pressed uppon when shooting those rigid points on the backboard?

Thank you in advance!
 

Greg Fremstad

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
941
Location
Eugene OR
Marcio,
Check out the article on the frametek.com web page titled "Stop the dust pump". Most framers use 3m"s # 810 "Magic tape" to tape seal their frames. Makes a lot of sense.
 

Joe B

PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
5,285
Location
Blaine, Minnesota
Hi guys!

I would like to ask the arquival experts in here about the role of backing paper/tape in framing, is this procedure really necessary if both the matboard and mountboard are very tight to the frame?
I am trying to avoid having to seal it with tape or paper on the back mainly for aesthetics, i would love to have simply the mountboard with the rigid points visible and thats it, is this doable? Or is there any other method that would make a tight seal on the inside edge of the mountboard, perhaps something like foam that would be pressed uppon when shooting those rigid points on the backboard? Thank you in advance!

I guess it is a matter of taste about aesthetics if an open back looks good or not - my opinion is that it looks very unprofessional and incomplete.

What Greg says plus I will ad, how to you keep the critters from making the back of the framed art their home? What's to keep those same critters from making the art breakfast, dinner, and supper?

Next, there has to be some play inside the package to properly frame the art, have you heard of expansion and contraction? You can (wrong) but you should never have the print in the package so tight it can't expand and contract and you shouldn't have the mats in in the frame to tight either - that a great way to get waves in the art and mats.

Do what you want but if I were you I would do a lot more research before putting the art package to tight into the frame and before not sealing the back of the frame.[/QUOTE]
 

Marcio Silva

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Portugal
Thanks Greg!
That is a great read article there and a sealing option that i definitely havent thought before, i will make further research on it for sure.
A quick search on that invisible tape and it appears it is not acid-free, correct? That would be a problem for conservation purposes.

Hi Joe!
My fear is that some people may look at it and think "oh wow, he just tapped the back with some school tape and thats it.." since many people will not think about all the necessary conservation work that goes with the sealing process.
I do think that the process on Greg's article is perfect (thats why i need to research whats actually wrong with it, there as to be a reason most framers dont use it) because it seems really clean, tape will barely show (or not show at all if you trim it well) and you can easily change the picture in the "sandwich" very fast, just cut the tape on the side where the matboard meets the backboard, switch the photo, and slam another layer of tape on top of the cutted one, no fuss no mess, but like i said, i need to further investigate the downsize of this process.

Thanks guys!
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
936
Location
Albany, NY
Backing Paper vs Backing Tape may be a regional thing?
I have a vague recollection that framers in the US tend to use Backing Paper, and framers in Europe tend to use Backing Tape, but I may be completely wrong about that.
Is there a survey? (I should check)
I personally think that Backing Paper looks best. Having the nails showing looks unfinished. It looks like you slapped the art in a pre-made frame.
I personally do not like sealing the glass to the backer board. When someone comes to my shop with broken glass in a frame that was fitted this way, it harder to take out art safely before replacing the glass.

Brian
 
Hoffmann Dovetail Joining System

Marcio Silva

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Portugal
Thanks Brian!
Thats a good point on the glass, altho i will be using mainly acrylic so i believe im safe on that end.
Do you also use Backing Paper in table pictures for example, where there is an easel? Also, how thick is the paper you use? I tend to see people tear the Backing Paper very easily either with their hands when grabbing the frame or when trying to hang and they pierce it with the wall hanger, perhaps these are thin low quality papers?
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
The convention in the US is to cover the entire back with paper. In Europe most framers use tape.

One way is no better than the other. It's mostly a case of what you are used to.

Taping/Papering the back is more for aesthetic reasons. It will stop dust from collecting, although it's
debatable whether any dust that collects in the back would ever cause damage to the art.
As for critters, the worse ones are the little black flies. I don't know the true scientific name for them.
They are variously called Thunder Flies, Thrips (they aren't Thrips), Harvest flies..... etc. These little guys
are the bane of a picture framer. But contrary the popular belief they never enter via the backs on frames
but go in the front by wiggling under the rabbet. So whatever you seal the back with is irrelevant to them.

Personally, I seal the glass/matted art/backer all round with tape and then drop this unit into the frame. Gun it
in and then tape the back with 4" water-activated tape. It's economical, looks professional and is very long-lasting.
The best pressure-sensitive tapes will maybe last ten years before they either dry out or go gooey. Wet tape will last
many decades (centuries? :D) It's also easier and to remove if needs be.

Oh, and I'll reiterate the point about having the mat/back tight in the frame. For one thing it's not easy to cut to that tolerance
and it's a surefire way to get wavy mats and art. 2mm 'elbow room' is about minimum. Bigger the internal package the bigger
the gap. Same with the glass, but for different reasons. If the glass is tight any shocks to the frame will be transferred firmly
to the glass. If it is slightly loose it stand a better chance.
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
.... Pressure on the inside of the mat window. On occasion I have resorted to fixing apiece of scrap
matboard behind the undermount, slightly bigger than the window and in register with it. This can be
very effective in eliminating any gaps where you have a piece of art that is thick and not completely flat.
But mainly this is not necessary if the matting and hinging is done correctly. It should be noted that most
backing boards have a slight bias, that is they curve slightly. Arranging things so the convex side points in
will tend to go a long way to keeping everything flat.
 

Marcio Silva

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Portugal
Thanks Prospero!
Im curious, if you sandwich all the assets with tape, why do you add gummed tape on the back? To hide the nails aesthetically?
Also your point on that bugs always come in from the front, i see many (most?) framers only actually apply sealing to the back, how are they not reporting the appearance of bugs in their art?
I do like sealing the whole assets from glass to the back, not only it seals all the outside dust/bugs, but also acts as an anti-acid barrier from the wood.
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
Yes. The tape is mostly cosmetic in my case. It's a finishing touch. Most of the frames I do are
hand-finished and the backs get covered in paint dribbles and generally look unsightly. Most of the
frames I do nowadays are for canvases and I tape over the backs before fitting the canvas - taking
the tape right into the rabbet. As the majority of the frames are wide and involve stacked combinations
the tape covers the joins as well as the splodges of paint/filler/glue.
 
Hoffmann Dovetail Joining System

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
9,150
Location
Ellsworth, Me. USA
Business
death star driver
Instead of paper on the back, I use Tyvek. it is nicer looking AND can not be torn by fingers poking it nor the hanger on the wall.

Personally, it looks like the framer was lazy for not bothering to put a backer "paper" on the back.

Also personally, taping everything into a package is a real PIA and takes waaay more time to do cleanly so the tape doesn't show from the front than it takes to just pin it in and paper it closed.

I only do it if the piece is going to be in a bathroom or some place with very high humidity.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
18,994
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I do a variation of what is recommended in the Dust Pump article. Instead of sealing all around the package, I use small tabs of tape oriented perpendicular to the edge, and overlapping the glass just enough not to protrude past the sight edge of the rabbet. Not only does this use a lot less tape, but more importantly, when you notice that last-minute flumb under the glass just before final fitting, it's very easy to undo one or two tabs and fish it out with a little speck-grabber wand, then quickly re-tape and finish up.

As to the backing issue, I agree that having neither paper nor tape gives an unfinished, amateurish look. If you really don't want to paper the back, there are a number of tapes you could use. I just tried a roll of the new flatback kraft tape from 888, and it seems quite similar to what I've seen on pictures that have been framed in Europe. Can't vouch for the longevity yet, but the adhesive seems aggressive and non-gummy. Actually, on the occasions when I do tape rather than a dust cover, I usually use the Lineco Frame Sealing tape, which is very good.
:cool: Rick
 

Marcio Silva

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Portugal
I agree that sealing the whole package is time consuming but without it how would we be protected from dust/bugs coming from the front? I know people add tape on the rabbet wood to seal the acids from the wood, but that wouldnt seal dust/bugs coming from the front, right?

Backing Paper and Tape for me looks really the same, cant say i like either of them, but that black Tyvek option is actually pretty neat and im guessing this is a material (even tho is fabric alike) that we can attach with a double-side tape, or is it stapling it better for the long run? I would assume a 3M 924 would be strong enough for it but unsure if after some years the glue adhesion wears off and it just falls off (assuming this material is much more heavier than normal Backing Paper).
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
Instead of paper on the back, I use Tyvek. it is nicer looking AND can not be torn by fingers poking it nor the hanger on the wall.

Personally, it looks like the framer was lazy for not bothering to put a backer "paper" on the back.

Also personally, taping everything into a package is a real PIA and takes waaay more time to do cleanly so the tape doesn't show from the front than it takes to just pin it in and paper it closed.

I only do it if the piece is going to be in a bathroom or some place with very high humidity.

Granted. But when you have it all sandwiched up you have a single unit, almost like a mini frame. No loose matted artwork,
pieces of glass and backer strewn about the workshop. You can watch out for flumbs while you do it and once done you know
nothing is going to get in. As for making sure the tape doesn't protrude past the rabbet lip, it's very simple to run a blade
along the edge and peel off the excess. But each to their own......:D
 
Hoffmann Dovetail Joining System

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
I should add that the little black flies are more or less of a problem according to where you live.
I live in a rural area surrounded by cornfields and harvest time is when they fly. Some years are
worse than others. Every now and then there will be a plague of Biblical proportions. They get
everywhere. Even one settling on paper-based art can cause irreparable damage (don't ask).
They also like electrical things and there were a few years when I could tell when the harvesting
had started because the burglar alarm on the shop a few doors away would go off. o_O
 

Greg Fremstad

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
941
Location
Eugene OR
Marcio,
In order for something to be "acid free" it must be dissolvable in water. 3M's magic tape and the adhesive on it are not dissolvable in water so there can be no acid. The plasticizers in the adhesive will migrate out with time and exposure to light and UV and the adhesive will become brittle. The adhesive side of the tape should not come in contact with the art.

Generally, the tape will not be visible under the lip of the frame so it will not see much light or UV. If you "tape seal" your frame jobs, there can be no new dust or critters entering the frame cavity and you will stop any rapid changes in humidity (the major cause of buckling of art, mats, and backing)
 

Joe B

PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
5,285
Location
Blaine, Minnesota
As for critters, the worse ones are the little black flies. I don't know the true scientific name for them.
They are variously called Thunder Flies, Thrips (they aren't Thrips), Harvest flies..... etc. These little guys
are the bane of a picture framer.

I don't believe that I have had much problem with the little black fly, I don't know which ones you are talking about, but I have had problems with spiders, centipedes, and regular house flies - mostly spiders. Spiders can make a real mess and leave some deposits that are impossible to remove without replacement of the mat. I use Tyvek on most of my valuable framing because there isn't a critter alive that will eat Tyvek. On my other framings it is always acid free paper backing with instruction to the customer to return to the shop every few years for cleaning. Believe it or not I have a pretty good business with take aparts, cleaning, and reassembly, at least $500.00 a year.

Anyway, I still believe it is important to seal the back no matter if you do it with the 4" tape or acid free backing paper or Tyvek. Personally, I like the full back covered because I believe it looks more finished and professional but with that said, if I were in Europe where the custom frame shops use the 4" tape I would probably believe that that looks finished and professional. I guess it all depends upon where we are from.
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
Most framers in the UK seem to use the brown 'masking' type tape. o_O Mostly because
it's convenient. I tried it once years ago and found after a couple of years it's dried up
and came off. It's not very economical compared to wet tape. Also, I like to cover the entire
back of the frame. Most framers seem to cover the gap between frame and backer only.
On some frames I've done I've had to use three strips of 4" tape. Doingthat with 2" s/a tape
would cost a packet and take forever. :confused: And when it all starts to degrade it would like the dog's dinner.

I do agree that a completely papered back looks very classy and professional. One of the things that
puts me off is that it is loose in the middle and 'flappy'. If you use paper it's just too easy to tear or
put your finger though. A lot of the frames I do are for artists who made drag the pictures around
exhibitions and they are not always careful with the handling. Another thing is that it would take longer
than taping. I've got of those 'one-armed bandit' type of tape wetter. Pull the lever and it dispenses a measured
length of ready-wetted tape and cuts it off when you release the lever. :D
 

Wildenfeldt

Grumbler
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Sweden
Business
Martins Inramningar & Prints
Most framers in the UK seem to use the brown 'masking' type tape. o_O Mostly because
it's convenient. I tried it once years ago and found after a couple of years it's dried up
and came off. It's not very economical compared to wet tape. Also, I like to cover the entire
back of the frame. Most framers seem to cover the gap between frame and backer only.
On some frames I've done I've had to use three strips of 4" tape. Doingthat with 2" s/a tape
would cost a packet and take forever. :confused: And when it all starts to degrade it would like the dog's dinner.

I do agree that a completely papered back looks very classy and professional. One of the things that
puts me off is that it is loose in the middle and 'flappy'. If you use paper it's just too easy to tear or
put your finger though. A lot of the frames I do are for artists who made drag the pictures around
exhibitions and they are not always careful with the handling. Another thing is that it would take longer
than taping. I've got of those 'one-armed bandit' type of tape wetter. Pull the lever and it dispenses a measured
length of ready-wetted tape and cuts it off when you release the lever. :D
I also have one of those one-armed bandit machines. The one I have I bought used and it has served me perfectly the last 10 years. I was interested in buying another one but a new cost a lot of money. More than you think. Maybe I have an expensive distributor.
 
W.D Quinn Saw Co. - US Made Picture Frame Blades

Matthew Hale

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
542
Location
OHIO
TL;DR.
My 2 cents - encapsulating all 4 edges with tape (I use clear Framers tape II) takes very little time, and if all the elements of the "sandwich" are trimmed accurately it's very easy to do with zero tape showing from the front.
1610482727800.png

Some form of dust cover (paper/tape/tyvek/whatever) is a must.

A perfect tight fit is guaranteed to lead to problems down the road. you need a little wiggle room.
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,363
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
I also have one of those one-armed bandit machines. The one I have I bought used and it has served me perfectly the last 10 years. I was interested in buying another one but a new cost a lot of money. More than you think. Maybe I have an expensive distributor.

You are quite right. They are expensive. Better than using a wet sponge though (or licking it :p).
I bought mine in the eighties and it's still working fine. 🙂 So I guess you could say it's earned it's keep.
I use exclusively 4" wide tape which works out very economical.
There are cheaper versions which are just a tray of water and a alligator tooth tear off. OK for occaisional
use but........ 😕

Point of interest: I've had the opportunity to scrutinise frames I did more than 30 years ago and without
exception the tape on the back was as good as the day I put it on. The same can't be said for some I did
using pressure-sensitive tape. It can be removed if need be by damping it with sponge - leave a minute and
it lifts off.
 

Wildenfeldt

Grumbler
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Sweden
Business
Martins Inramningar & Prints
What thicknes of Tyvek do you guys use? I got samples from the manufacturer and it is 43 grams.
And I wonder what you pay for a roll? I don't wont to get ripped off by a distributor.
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
9,150
Location
Ellsworth, Me. USA
Business
death star driver
Mine doesn't have a gram weight on the box. Best as I have found, there are 2 thicknesses available.

There is one used for wrapping for shipping which is rather stiff and then what I get which is alot thinner and easier to use for framing.
Someone told me that it was actually made for the framing industry.

If it has Tyvek printed on it, it is not meant for framing but for wrapping buildings.
 

Wildenfeldt

Grumbler
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Sweden
Business
Martins Inramningar & Prints
Mine doesn't have a gram weight on the box. Best as I have found, there are 2 thicknesses available.

There is one used for wrapping for shipping which is rather stiff and then what I get which is alot thinner and easier to use for framing.
Someone told me that it was actually made for the framing industry.

If it has Tyvek printed on it, it is not meant for framing but for wrapping buildings.
I understand. Can I ask how much you pay for the one you use? Is it on a roll?
 
FrameReady Special Offer - Call 888-281-2202

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
9,150
Location
Ellsworth, Me. USA
Business
death star driver
It's a 36" wide by 70 yard roll and is anywhere from $127 to $160 or so.

Tho it is more expensive than paper, you just need to bump the closing charge by a few dollars.
Even adding $5 onto the closing charge won't make the overall price cringeworthy to the customer.

Different places charge different prices. The cheapest price is also the one where half the time, they don't have it in stock.
Tho it is more costly than paper, in the long run, it's a better value as it isn't able to be torn or someone's finger pushed thru it.
Also looks better as a clean white back on the customers work. :thumbsup:
 

Wildenfeldt

Grumbler
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Sweden
Business
Martins Inramningar & Prints
It's a 36" wide by 70 yard roll and is anywhere from $127 to $160 or so.

Tho it is more expensive than paper, you just need to bump the closing charge by a few dollars.
Even adding $5 onto the closing charge won't make the overall price cringeworthy to the customer.

Different places charge different prices. The cheapest price is also the one where half the time, they don't have it in stock.
Tho it is more costly than paper, in the long run, it's a better value as it isn't able to be torn or someone's finger pushed thru it.
Also looks better as a clean white back on the customers work. :thumbsup:
How do you mount it to a frame? Do you first put ATG round the back of the frame then push the frame down on the tyvek? And then cut it to size?
 
LifeSaver Cloud from LifeSaver Software, Inc.
Top