Can a chalk drawing be drymounted?


True Grumbler
Jan 28, 2005
Papillion Nebraska
Customer brought in a chalk drawing she had done and does not want a mat. The paper is thin so when I use spacers it will bow out towards the glass. Can I dry mount it so it will more solid and won't bow? I tried to talk her into matting the darn thing but she wouldn't go that route.


I have drymounted chalk drawings before, you just have to be careful not to rub across it.

You might get good results by hinging it at the top to the backing, so gravity can pull it flat.
If the paper isn't ripply, make the frame and backing just a bit large, so that you can put spacers just OFF the edge of the paper, but still cover the edge with the frame.
Like HannaFate says: DON'T RUB IT. We have done these and place release paper over it first and slip it into the press taking care not to slide the release paper.

With the customer's persmission, we also apply spray fixatives to chalks and pastels.

Good luck, Karl.
Let me guess, the customer just was not willing to spend the extra 10 to 20 bucks for a mat.

I have an artist with the same wishes of chalk, thin paper, frame and glass only. I have been mounting them on ArtCare Restore. That way the spacers can be used. I have been down this road many times.

I would not under any circumstances spray any fixatives on anything. Over time the pastels and chalks will flak off in chunks instead of tiny little pieces at a time.
Thanks so much for your replies. Glad to hear it's okay to mount it.

Yes Jerry, she wasn't willing to pay the extra for a mat as she spent more on the frame than she wanted. I will never understand people saving 10 bucks on a mat. Even I can afford 10 bucks and I don't make anything!
The artist can choose to mount it, especially with a product like Restore, but it should not be mounted without the artist's permission in most states.

The fixatives changes the character of the pastel, making the colors harsh and increasing contrasts therefore subduing the soft, blended look. It's best to let the artist deal with the change.
Yeah, get the artist's permission before mounting them. And warn him/her also that the potential for smearing is great according to the amount of handling that is required to drymount them.

I suppose you could cut some mat spacers a tad narrower than the overhang of the rabbet and place them in the frame with the bevel reversed. That way you wouldn't see the spacer and the reverse bevel would give the ever-flaking pastel chalk someplace to hide instead of showing up at the bottom of the artwork.

(I always thought that chalk was a kid thing.)