Mounting Suggestions?

Lisa A

True Grumbler
Jan 20, 2004
Haymarket, VA
I'm looking for some opinions on an order I'm working on. It's a portrait of the client's daughter that they want reframed into something bigger...there were no mats before.

The portrait is mounted onto some type of board which is about the thickness of 2 4-ply mats. Since it was in a smaller frame, it needs to be mounted to keep it lined up with the new mats. I originally planned to Japanese mount it before I found out how thick/heavy it is. Mulberry paper hinges would not hold for long. How would you suggest mounting it?

Please note that I don't have a drymount or vacuum press yet.

Thanks in advance!!

Lisa :D
What you need is a "sink mat". This means to surround the edge of the art with strips of material the same thickness as the board on which the art is mounted. (Sounds like 8-ply ragboard or 1/8" acidfree foamcore may work.) Behind this would be your backing board the full size of the mats and frame. This will keep the thick piece in position and the art/mats package level, to prevent bowing of the mats.
I'd second Ricks suggestion of a sink mat if it's going under glass.

Or you can use a nice shallow 3" liner

and wrap with a nice linen or antique satin (which is actually Rayon and very neutral).
This is also a good example of "Things we forget to charge for."

We get one of these flush-mounted photos and we think (or maybe the customer thinks) "Oh, good, it's already mounted" but it's more work to sink mount one of these puppies than it is to mount an unmounted photo on a new board the same size as the frame.
Rip strips of AF foam wider than you think you will need. (2 minutes)

ATG the back of face mat. (2 minutes unless your not talking...)

Pinwheel around the art (1 minute)

Trim excess foamcore (2 minutes)


Heat the drymount press on hottest day of year (10 minutes)

Trim dry mount tissue, and tack picture, trim excess tissue (5 minute)

Mount 3 minutes @175, but the heat isn't just right so . . . (5 minute)

Under glass to cool (2 minutes)

Mark and trim (3 minutes)

your right Ron, it is faster and easier. :D
Baer, if you're heating up your press to mount one print, you're not as smart as you think you are.
There is a photo mounting board that is about as thick as a 6-ply mat -- That may be what you have. I agree that a sink mount is the way to go, and that does not involve heat.
Thanks for all the info. I hope there is a class on mounting with something other than a heat or vacuum press in Atlanta.

Are the strips of matboard enough support for the picture or should I still attach the picture to the strips using some type of hinge to further reinforce it?

Jim, you're right. It's about the thickness of 6 ply. Since I don't have any 6 ply (or 2 ply) scrap laying around, would it be better to put one or two strips of 4 ply? i.e. if the sink is not going to be quite flush with the picture, is it better for the strips to be higher or lower than the picture?
The strips should equal the thickness of the mounted picture. If the sink is deeper, there would be gaps between the mat opening and the photo. If the sink is too shallow, the mat might warp or cockle. If you do not have scraps appropriate for the job, buy a 6-ply board or other appropriate materials and do it properly.

Use a solid, strong, frame-sized board To support the sink mount assembly. Do not use any attachment on the mounted photo -- just lay it in the "sink" and cut the mat opening to overlap the photo's edges by about 1/4". The mat keeps the photo from falling out of the sink.

Any preservation mounting class would cover methods of mounting that do not involve the use of a press. By definition, preservation mounts are non-invasive and reversible, which rules out any mount using a press.
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
Baer, if you're heating up your press to mount one print, you're not as smart as you think you are.
Ron, If I have to do a heat mount.... Shar is either sick or on vacation --- thats HER job....

I hate mounting.. and therefore it would be for just one thing, or I'm heat mounting fabric. :D

Usually I just use the Perfect Mount that Jim discribed.

But, then, there are those days......

Jim, is there a problem with doing the sink mat out of 4-ply, then pinwheeling 1-ply layers untill she gets just the right height?
Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
...Jim, is there a problem with doing the sink mat out of 4-ply, then pinwheeling 1-ply layers untill she gets just the right height?
That would be OK, so long as the 4-ply board is the one supporting the mounted photo, and not just the edges of a layer of 1-ply. My only concern would be if the stack of boards were significantly thicker than the layer of 4-ply board strips. In that case if anything in the assembly became warped later -- especially the frame-sized backer -- then the mounted photo might pop out of its sink.

A sinkmount relies on the edges of the board strips to support the art they surround. So, using the materials Baer suggests, I would determine the stack components and glue them together them before cutting the strips. That way, all of the layers would be equally contributing to the support of the mounted photo.
Originally posted by Baer Charlton:

Trim excess foamcore (2 minutes)

add a minute or 2 or 3 when you need to use 8ply or double thick because it's just the right thickness and have to score over and over with a blade until you finally cut it through without marring the mat or swerving a little leaving a little "bump" out the side which is even harder to trim off but you have to or else you can't fit it because there's not enough allowance on your frame and aaaaauuuuggghhh!!!!!