Mounting a waterproof map


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jul 11, 2001
Wautoma, WI USA
Last week a customer brought in a map of the chain of lakes their cottage is on. It was folded and they wanted it to lay flat in the frame. Since this isn't an expensive piece but is big, I decided that dry mounting would be the best option.

As I was getting ready to put it in the press today, I noticed that it said "waterproof" on the back. I knew I should have listened to that little voice in the back of my head that said "wait, maybe you better not put it in there!" Of course I didn't. It stuck to the mount board fine, the fold lines even flattened out but unfortunately the whole think wrinkled up like an unironed silk blouse. :eek:

Now comes the question: How do I flatten this thing out again? I tried ironing it with my tacking iron. It helped a bit. Then I peeled it off the backing. It came up easily. I then tried remounting it. It got a little flatter, but won't stay stuck doen now because of the paper residue on the back of the dry mount tissue. Unfortunately, the tissue seems to be very well bounded to the map. Any ideas as to what I can try next short of removing the tissue with unseal?!

I wonder if the tissue would come off if I wet the piece. It is waterproof!
Thats about all you can do Anne, Unseal or Adhesive Release.
Otherwise bite the bullet and get them a new map if they're readily available. It'll save a lot of time, not to mention brain cells.
Been there done that. It is a bummer, but most likely you will be best off just buying a new one and using a cool mount method. We use PMA (3m product).
That's the sort of job I would farm out the mounting on. Fortunately, there's a firm in our area that does blueprints, high tech printing, mounting etc., and they deliver!
:cool: Rick
It is probably printed on tyvek. Last time I drymounted a tyvek map, all I could do with it was antique it so that the wrinkles were attractive.

You can get good results with spraymounting tyvek. It's tricky, since it sticks instantly, so you have no room for error. I do it by rolling the paper around a rod, and applying it an inch at at time.
It's a pain, but it works.

Another alternative is to contact the map publisher and see if you can get one that is not folded.
Thanks for the replys. Hannah, love the solution of antiquing it. Unfortunately, in this case it isn't an option. The customer happened to stop in this morning with more pieces for me to frame so I showed her what happened. We decided to order a new map and it's on it's way.

This time, I'm going to use PMA on it. I hesitated to do that last time because the map is 24 inches wide and my roll is 20 inches wide. I'll just have to make it work. I also hate trying to mount large objects using PMA. It's awkward to work with without getting stuck to or tangled in the stuff!
I thought you said it was big. If it's under 32x40, why not try PerfectMount board by Crescent? It's far less messy than PMA. You can use the removable facing paper as a slip sheet as you press the map onto the surface little by little. It's very easy to do and effective. Once in place, burnish it with a roller, and let the bond "cure" for a while under flat weight. Don't flex the mounted piece.
It's 24 by 36 and will be matted after mounting. If I use Perfectmount, then I would have to make a sink mat for the mounted piece. And I don't have Perfectmount in stock. I do have PMA and 8 ply rag, is what I'm going to use.

To me, this is a big piece. I'm only 5'2", so trying to mount anything bigger than a 16 x 20 using any kind of peel and stick adhesive is challenging. I just can't reach that well. I think I'll have to get Gary to help me on this one.

I'm sure you have done it before, so I'll be brief but just in case…

When you set the map, do it with only a small amount of the adhesive exposed at first. Line up the map over the part of the PMA that is still covered with the release paper. After you have it evenly placed, tack it to the area where the release paper is removed. Then remove the rest of the PMA release paper and use your brayer to firmly adhere the map.

When you place the PMA on the board, it is actually designed to butt together to fill the space you are covering. It won't show any lines or anything like spliced dry mount tissue would.
The replacement map arrived but the creases where it was folded are so sharp that I'm afraid to try mounting it with PMA the way it is. I don't think it is going to lay flat enough to mount with out puckering or creasing. Unfolded, it's 24" x 36". Folded, it's 6" x 9". I wonder if it can be ironed?

Try it on the old pc first to see how it reacts.

I would imagine a low-heat ironing would work on it.

You could also try lightly damping it, then low-heat ironing.

good luck!
I thought about trying it on the old map first, but it's still stuck to the dry mount tissue so I don't know if it would react the same. I have an old iron I keep here to do needlework with. I might try putting a pice of release paper over a corner and seeing how it does.

I have a mechanical press and I put it in there cold for now with the pressure locked down. Doesn't seem to be getting any flatter.
Its things like this that make me wish I was still doing framing on a daily basis. I sooooooo miss it! Really, I DO!
Well so much for Plan B! I tried a barely warm iron on an edge where I knew it was going to be covered by the mat and it puckered right away. Apparently, what ever this is printed on is very heat sensitive. Since it is a map meant for fishing, I wonder what would happen if you left it in the sun on your boat?

Plan A, putting it under pressure in the press, did flatten it a bit more than it was when I took it out of the envelope this morning. Right now, I'm getting up the courage to apply the PMA. I'm not sure if I should apply it to the back of the map or the mount board. Or maybe I should just call the customer, tell her it is impossible to mount it so it is flat and hinge it with linen tape instead...
YES! It's mounted! It's not 100% flat, you can still see the fold lines. The customer is just going to have to live with that. :rolleyes:

It did wind up being a 2 person operation. Gary held the map up off the adhesive while I used the core from a roll of backing paper like a giant rolling pin to smooth it down.

Now I need to go put it in the frame. It's one the customer had that had Dancing Bears in it. This is probably all the curse of the Dancing Bears. :eek:
congrats Anne.

Why does it seem everybody has a print of those dancing bears? Had a person ask about them just last week!