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Beauty, Brawn, and Brains: Wizard Z1 CMC

Epic Newbie Tape Mistake, advice needed.

claireS

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
1
Hi All,

Complete innocent newbie on the scene. As a professional photographer who is just getting into cutting mats and mounting,
I thought that simple masking tape would be just fine for adhering my photos to the mats. I know, I know....please be gentle.
Incredibly daft, especially as I take great care in choosing archival acid papers and pigment inks...Never thought about acid in tape!
Anyway, I will be ordering proper hinging tape from now on. Problem is that I have already sold quite a few prints that I matted using the masking tape.
I dread the thought of the tape deteriorating rapidly and causing an issue with the prints (and I can no longer contact the clients to offer replacements if needed,
as they purchased the prints at local markets.
Can anyone give me a very rough idea of how long before the tape starts causing problems (if at all?)
Photos were adhered to mat with the masking tape, and then (acid free) backing board was adhered with glue (now I'm thinking there's probably a glue problem too -
do I need to be using anything specific, glue-wise?)

Thanks All, apologies for being so clueless!
 

Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,349
Too many factors to determine when the masking tape will fail. Depends on the tape and the environmental conditions where the art is living. Some tapes dry out, get flakey, and fall off. Some tapes turn into liquid goo before they fail.

The good thing is that you are willing to learn the proper way to approach this.

First of all, the photo ought to be hinged or attached to the backing board and then second, the mat should be hinged (on its longest side, to the backing board. No glue necessary! Unfortunately, the definitions of the word "hinge" are completely different in these two applications.

If you can arrange to print your photos on a somewhat oversized paper, leaving an unprinted area of 1-2" you could also use Mylar corner pockets. (Like the photo corners used in old scrapbooks, only archival.)

Welcome to the Grumble - it is a treasure trove of information!
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
8,811
I guess it depends on how old you are.

I'm currently offering a life time guarantee on all my work.... MY lifetime!!
At my age, (and eating habits) odds are that my work will out live me.

I agree with Mar.. added paper border around the image and then corner pockets are better way to go.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
15,189
Welcome to the G, Claire.

We all were newbies once and I would not like to see some of my earliest work now that I know better. I do understand your worries.
There is nothing you can do at this point. If something comes back, you can fix the problem then.

If you hinge, make sure to do it to the back board. I “book” my mats, but in some jobs, I do glue the mat to backboard, not touching the art. I use Lineco archival glue for that and just a few dots here and there.
 

wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1,837
Welcome! You won't find any criticism here for wanting to learn.

The truth about masking tape is it could last 2 weeks or several decades. I have seen both happen. Usually, the adhesive turns to powder. But on the other hand, I usually discover this when something is being reframed for other reasons. The thing about masking tape in particular is that it is intended for very short-term holding. The materials used in its manufacture vary widely.

Any pressure-sensitive tape is likely to fail.

But. . . most people will just get it fixed if it fails and they still like it. It is unlikely that they will curse you or mutter around about you. If they find you, you know you will fix it for free, so it really is not a huge problem.

If you are selling high-end photographs, you really need to learn a better method of mounting or pay a local frame shop to hinge them for you.

If you are selling moderately priced photographs, a drymount press should be on you wish list. Some Kool Tack or other low-temperature board will make mounting a breeze and you will never look back.
 
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nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
580
Welcome aboard!

I agree with all the above.

Every custom framer in the world has had artwork brought to us that has had this exact issue.
It's possible that when the tape fails, and the photo/artwork slips, then any sticky adhesive could stick to the photo/artwork and ruin it.
I haven't personally seen that myself, but it's something that might happen. I'm sure some others here have had to deal with stuck artwork.
Mostly the photo/artwork slips and just needs to be re-matted.
We framers just politely say "No worries, I can fix that".

No one has ever told me they were going to go after the artist with a pitchfork because of slipped artwork. 🤣

Joking aside, as others have said...kudos to you for wanting to improve your product and showing concern for the long term enjoyment of your customer's purchase.
Far too few artists follow even the base level of quality display of their work, and their customers end up paying for it in the end.

Keep asking questions and scour the Grumble for lots more advice, you will be so happy you did.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
2,686
Another factor you need to be aware of is embossing.

When you hinge a photograph with any tape it is possible for the outline of the tape to show through the front of the picture as a slightly raised area which sometimes catches the light and looks really unsightly. This is particularly a problem with thin glossy papers like the dreaded and now, happily almost extinct, Cibacrome.

Ideally you should use the lightest tape which will take the weight and place the hinges so that they remain above the line of the matt. This is another good reason for printing with a blank border.
 

nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
580
claireS Don't feel too bad, read this other thread...
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,250
When I started off framing my paintings (back when dinosaurs ruled the earth) I did exactly the same. 😁

Recently I had the opportunity to examine a framed painting I did about 1984.
Painting stuck to the (very acidic) mat with masking tape with no undermount and a hardboard back.
Result? The painting was good as the day it was executed.
Tape still clinging on. No acid burn or fading. No rippling.
Go figure. 🙄

Thing is, all masking tape are not created equal. There tends to be two types: One goes extremely gooey
and the other dries out and drops off. Given it's intended use it only has to last a few days/hours, in fact
it's meant to be easily removable. But it grabs harder the longer you leave it on.

Regard it as a temporary means of attachment. Like spray glues. 🤣
 
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prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,250
I get though a lot of masking tape. I use it for masking. :p
 

Larry Peterson

PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Resource Provider
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
8,451
You know when you have 2 wrapped sticks of moulding and you take one out. If you remove it carefully, the remaining stick is still wrapped but the wrapping is very loose. I used to use regular masking tape to tape this up. My only problem is that after some time, the masking tape is hard to remove from the roll. It tears rather than unrolling nicely. I dropped regular masking tape and am now using the blue painters masking tape. Works a lot better.
 
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