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Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

Painting matting

cnickerson

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
2
Hello,

New to framing. I need an accent mat a specific color, and its a lot easier to get a paint in that color than a mat. Is there a specific type of paint I should use when painting a mat?

Thanks.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
768
I had a customer request a painted mat the other day.
Interested to know the same information.
My only suggestion is to keep the glass from touching the painted mat, as with any painted surface.

Brian
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,247
For a whole mat in a flat color- tricky. Hard to get an even coverage. Also it would make the mat
curl up. Also also, it would stick to the glass and/or make annoying optical artefacts. All-in-all a no go.
Using thin washes and sponging/stippling works better. E.G. if you use an Ingres paper faced board in a muted
tone and stipple it with a thin coat of acrylic in the same general color but darker, you can do a very convincing
velvet with none of the hairs coming off. Only really applicable if you want that sort of finish.

For reveals on double mats it's a more practical proposition. Use acrylic paint and apply at least two coats.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
2,682
Ditto what Prospero says: If the customer is so finicky that you cannot find the right colour in all the matts available they will probably not be happy with whatever paint job you can offer either. I am guessing that the time you have already spent with this customer is putting the job close to non-profit status?
 

Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,340
Painting a mat with water-based paint require equal coatings of the same paint on the verso to prevent curling. Which would probably negate any archival qualities in the original matboard.

Good luck!
 
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cnickerson

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
2
Thanks for feedback everyone.

Its just an accent mat, so theres a 1/4" reveal. I was wondering if thin coats of spray paint would work.
 

Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,340
If an inner mat is all you are coloring, virtually any kind of medium would work - but unless you want the bevel the same color, paint the board first then cut. Easy peasy!
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
18,940
What Mar said. One of the fun things about doing this is that you can be as messy as you want on the surface, and when you lay the top mat down it looks perfect. This is a good opportunity to do some faux texturing or other special effects, which are really easy but look extra-special. Since the cost factors are low, you could surprise your customer with a "free upgrade".
:cool: Rick
 

cvm

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
7,720
We've used Colortool floral sprays with much success on mats in non-archival framing packages.
 

freakquency

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
1,669
possibly find a fabric in the color needed and do a hand wrapped fabric mat?
 
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wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1,807
I have been successfully coloring bottom mats with acrylic paint for years. But follow Framar's advice and paint the mat before cutting. I use one of those small rollers that is 2-3 inches wide and paint a swath.

Acrylic paint should not compromise the art, but if you are concerned you can use a reverse beveled undermat. That brings the surface of the paper to 1/8 from the art. I have never had problems with curling, but if you were painting the whole surface, I would paint the back too.

And if you want to go down a preservation rabbit hole, start asking suppliers about the composition of the top papers on colored mats.

There was a time when there were 2 colors of matboard. White and white. Framers used airbrushes (they were called something else) to paint them to the color desired. I have often thought it might be fun to experiment with this process since it should allow for very thin but even coats.

Wizard experimented with a process to print colors on a matboard a few years ago, but I don't think it was successful or was too expensive to pursue. I never heard more after the original discussion.

In rare cases, I have been able to print a solid color on Epson single-weight matte paper, then drymount it to a white matboard to get the look I wanted. This is also a very successful way of producing patterns or images. But it is also an expensive method since it uses a great deal of expensive ink.

Probably more than you wanted to know.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,247
I once saw a computerised French mat ruling machine. I even did the 'wash'.
I had some matted prints with 'robot' lines. The lines disappeared in a short while. 😕

In the past I've dry-mounted paper onto matboard to produce custom board.

** You are right in saying that the 'archival' properties of a lot of drawing and watercolor paper is a bit suspect. 🙄
 
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