Problem Bent Foam Core with art mounted on it HELP!


Grumbler in Training
Jun 26, 2024
Tallahassee, FL
Artnick Design
I have a pastel that is mounted with spray adhesive (about 1 week) 06/26/2024. My client dropped it and bent the corner of the Foam Core and the art work. Does any one have a fix. Can the artwork still be safely removed and remounted? Can the Foam Core be straightened somehow? Must the client just frame it as it is? What is the answer...HELP!
Allowing a piece mounted on foam core with no protection to leave your shop is a recipe for...........................................exactly what happened.

If that is what the customer specified, next time be a bit more proactive about the dangers that lurk around the corners (pun intended)
It can be done, but boy, are you going to wish you hadn't tried. You'll need some adhesive solvent, a thin plastic palette knife, a hypodermic needle, and a bunch of Tums. Fill the needle with the solvent and wet a small area of the piece as little as possible until the paper comes free. Get the palette knife between the paper and the backboard and try to apply the solvent to the backboard trying to get as little as possible on the paper. Gently pull the two apart without putting undue stress on the paper. Pause to eat a Tums. Repeat as necessary.

The better solution is to trim the bent part off and frame the slightly smaller image.
Hi, artnick. Welcome to the Grumble! :)

I'll second what the guys said, about no easy fix. A paper conservator could probably do it, but especially since it's pastel, anyone else trying might cause more damage.
In my first year of framing, (ca. 1992), I accidentally damaged two things that were dry mounted with tissue, and my boss was able to (laboriously) remove both by
using Unseal. (Now, one such product is called Unstick, and should only be used with gloves and a cartridge mask). But, again, the combination of spray adhesive
on one side and pastel on the other make it more difficult. If the customer is willing to frame it, and if the shop has a CMC, perhaps you could cut a mat with a
rectangular window that has rounded corners? Or, if they don't want a mat and the denting is minimal, you could either add a fillet to the inside lip of a frame,
or use a flat moulding that's wide and deep enough, you could rip out some of the thickness to make a wider rabbet. (Or sell them a Picture Woods or Vermont
Hardwood frame, and they can do the rip out, for a fee). Or, you can try what Bruce posted while I was writing. If you try it, good luck!

Whatever they do, please be confident that you don't owe them anything. It's definitely a bummer, but they dropped it, not you.
Unless you're the shop owner and want to be super kind, it's okay to charge usual price for anything more.
The second Spray Glue touched it it was doomed. ☹️

It is possible to remove the glue with a solvent but it's an incredibly messy and tedious exercise.
Having a delicate pastel the other side helps not.

Rule 1: Don't use Spray Glue to mount artwork.
Rule 2: Don't use Spray Glue to mount artwork.

Rule 3: Don't mount artwork to Foamcore.

Rule 4: Obey the rules.

** Even if you didn't dent the corner the paper would have detached in localised patches and formed bumps. 🤨
Welcome to the G!

I don't use spray glue (too toxic)

I never permanently mount original art, or anything that I cannot replace.

I would not mount a pastel and then not frame it. That in itself is already a recipe for disaster.

I doubt you will be able to remove it, without doing damage to the pastel. You cannot put a pastel face down, it might smudge and disappear.
I like the ideas others posted of getting creative with disguising the damage, rather than the unlikely success of "undoing the undoable".
Here are some mat diagrams that Shayla's suggestions brought to my mind:

A symmetrical design may look more intentional than covering only the one damaged corner.
This is of course assuming a mat is even included in the frame design, which is not mentioned in the OP.
All I can add to this thread is:

Do not, under any circumstances and under whatever threat even think about trying to delaminate this artwork from the fomecore!!

It would be a difficult (and expensive) task for a skilled and experienced conservator. A newbie would have a hailstone's chance in hell of succesfully bringing it off.