First for me,but what about the rest of TFG


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Founding Member
Nov 23, 1997
Mandeville, LA USA
I just got in a very nice pastel.A rather small landscape with fairly fine detail.At first I didn't think it was actually a pastel ( because of the fine detail and not seeing any dust in the plastic envelope.Upon further examination I was even more surprised to find the image was done on ultrafine sand paper. I have heard that this gave the work more"TOOTH" and held the pastel better. To some extent it does ( it allowed much finer detail and very little dust). But my question is does the sand paper strata have any hidden faults or needs ,other than conventional surfaces?
The artist matted it herself rather nicely ,but the client wants to change the "Large White Top mat and very small Blue second mat".The artist attached two small strips across the top and bottom of the work at the rear of the bottom mat (I assume to allow dust to accumulate or to keep the sand paper from abrassing the bottom mat away or both) I plan to lay the 8572 btm. mat on the work and reverse the bevels while installing a fom-board spacer between it and a sand colored top mat to allow any dust to fall between them and not collect on the visible beveled edges.
But will the "SAND PAPER" add any other problems?

Can you see the backside of the sandpaper? If so, if it is sort of an olive color and smooth, it is waterproof wet or dry sandpaper and should be OK for any moisture that may invade the frame package. If it is a dark buff paper, it is most likely an open coat dry sandpaper and the adhesive that bonds the grit to the paper is VERY suseptible to moisture.

If you can see any remnants of the grit on the edges of the front of the paper the dry paper is usually a gray color and has a sort of wavy pattern to it whereas the wet or dry paper is usually a very dark gray to almost black color with no apparent pattern to it.

Both papers have a tendency to curl towards the grit side when exposed to high heat/humidity. I don't know what you can do about that problem but it does exist and you should be aware of it.

All this assumes that the artist bought the large sheets of commercial grade sandpaper that would be commonly used in a body shop.

For a long time the French produced a paper for pastel drawing similar to the one you describe which I first came across some 30 years ago. The only special treatment that I was obliged to apply to such pictures by my then employer was to suspend the drawing, by one corner,in one hand, and with the other hand,using the index finger,gently flick the back of the said drawing,in several places. To remove any loose bits!
Seriously,just carry on.
Tom I'm going to give all of you a detail description when I return to the shop of what is on the rear of the paper. There is a lot of printing but i didn't pay a lot of attention to it. Just from memory (which is admittedly poor) it was someting like Pand some three digit number. I think it also had a manufacturer name on it,it also felt like it was plastisied like maybe emory paper or the stuff you would have used in Auto body work which might have been wet applicated to use. However it was tan in color and the grit was very ,very fine and either tanish or gray and it did curl towards the grit. It also did appear that it was cut from a larger sheet but then it could have been easily since it was so small a picture( app. 5 x 12)
But thanks for all tha opinins thus far . And i am even more amazed that I am not the only one to have just seen this.
Hawickman ,while this is a very local artist ( this was done at the French quater festival) I am very interested in the paper you are decribeing. Some where in the back of my mind ( among all the cobwebs) is a disccussion about textures of paper used to do pastels.Maybe this was mentioned by Hugh Or Rebecca or maybe even Orton,Or any or all of them listening?
Buddy, the pastel artist who did this

for me years ago used a type of sandpaper. I don't remember the specifics except that the working surface was dark grey, it was a 3M product and not something she could buy locally.

After framing a dozen-or-so of her commissioned portraits and struggling to mount the sandpaper, we finally got smart and started dry-mounting the paper BEFORE she worked on it. That kept the artist, the customer and - most important - the framers happy.
Good suggestion, Ron. That is called thinking/planning ahead and is something that many artists don't take into consideration when in the creation stages of their work. How easy some of our work would be if the artist had the foresight to have their base media mounted on foamcore with enough border to accommodate the mats that will be eventually used on their work.

Guys, I mentioned Pastel sanded paper in another thread. It is NOT commercial sandpaper. It is available from a number of Art paper suppliers/manufacturers and some who manufacture specifically for pastel artists.

Here's one distributor's page.

Wallis museum grade is my personal favorite, although Art Spectrum and others have nice products as well. The Art Spectrum actually comes in a wide variety of colors. They are made with various degrees of archival quality. Most are as archival as watercolor paper. Just use paste and japanese hinges like you would for any high grade art on paper. I always put a "channel" between the art and the bottom mat for "collection of dust."
I forgot to mention in the last post. I have also framed some of my work with no mat and v-hinges then a 3/16 to 1/4 spacer between the work and the glass. I was just looking at a 36 x 24 piece I did a few years ago on Wallis Proffesional sanded paper (buffered, but not rag) and it looks perfectly fine.
Now that I am back in my shop ( I close on Mondays and Sundays)I can tell yo that the back of the paper has P600 713E and a seal that says ERSTA witha smal Locomotive under it and Made in germany under that, then SRARCKE under that. I did a search in Google with ERSTA and found a abrasives company based in UK which allowed online comments so i sent them a minquiry. Hopefully they will respond soon. apparently this is a commerical sandpaper ,only prblem is it comes it a host of types and grade so until or if they respond i still don't know the properties of the strata.