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W.D Quinn Saw Co. - US Made Picture Frame Blades

Pressure Sensitive Tape


WOW Framer
Forum Donor
Apr 5, 2008
Sometimes on here, people say pressure sensitive tapes don't belong in framing. They should definitely not touch artwork, but there do seem to be some uses. One example is 3M 415 double-sided tape, which is used by conservators, and also to affix mylar to clear polyester film for object mounting. If I recall correctly, it's also used to bond sheets of coroplast together. Two concerns with such tapes are damage from adhesive and longevity of hold. (Feel free to post more, if they come to mind). Does the fact that they're used by some in these ways mean that it holds consistently over the long term? VRB is another that comes to mind. Not for conservation framing, but it definitely has some uses.

I can also think of two other uses for such tapes. One is, when a mat window has been cut that's slightly smaller than paper art, and the art is hinged around it, then the dropout is put back in the larger piece. Pressure sensitive tape is used on the back to affix the fallout into the original piece. Another is, when art hinged is hinged to a smaller platform of ragboard, which is then attached to a larger backing. With the hinged art inverted, I put a strip or two of ATG on the back of that platform, apply acrylic gel medium in other areas, flip and affix to the larger backing. The ATG helps it keep from sliding sideways when weighting for drying.

This thread is a general chat on the subject. Feel free to mention appropriate ways you've used pressure sensitive tapes.
If you think there are no good uses, how would you handle such object mounting, and what would you use for adhering plastics?
Last edited:

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
May 19, 2000
For clear polyester film (Mylar-D) encapsulations, overlays, edge supports, book/magazine/newspaper mounts, and some other applications, I suggest using 3M #415, or ASAP Tapes #ASA600 fillet tape. And, if you can still find it in good condition (now discontinued), 3M #889 double-sided tape is excellent quality.
All of these tapes have polyester ribbons and acrylic adhesives, so they are not only chemically stable and inert, but also very strong and stretch-resistant. When applied to a smooth, non-porous surface, such as Mylar, Coroplast, or metal such as ACM; DiBond, etc. the tape sticks very securely, and if it ever needs to be removed, it will probably come off in a continuous ribbon.

Other clear tapes, such as clear packing tapes and some Framers' Tapes, are made with polypropylene ribbons, which nearly always shred when removal is attempted. Some of them (usually the cheapest ones) have junk adhesives, too, which can become gummy and/or dry out and weaken over time.

I use Scotch Heavy Duty Packing Tape to cover the fitting points on some frames. Under the dustcover paper, this tape spans the gap and smooths out the bumps & edges, so dustcover paper is less likely to poke-through. Due to questionable chemistry, I would not use this inside the framing package when chemical stability/preservation counts.
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