Print is buckling


Mar 9, 2004
North Dakota
I have an LE Redlin that is starting to buckle. It was framed without mats but frame space was used. The print is not mounted... just on a piece of suede matbaord. What if anything can be done about the print and how should it have been mounted? I really enjoy reading and learning about picture framing here at the grumble & must say I am humbled by everyone's knowledge.
Thanks for all the help!
Welcome to the grumble Joni. Ok we need to ask a few questions in order to be completely clear as to the situation you are presenting.

1.How is the art being held down? Is it between the spacer and suede matboard (pressure fit if you will), is it hinged to the matboard in any way? If neither please explain.

2.Was the print rolled up tight before framing? Was the print given time to relax? If so how did you do this?

3.What type of print is it ie. media, type of paper?

4.What is the value of the item, is it replaceable, is it one of a kind?

There are several other questions that may be asked, but with this we should be able to help you. Let us know what we are working with here and we can get you through it.

Your problem may very well be the FrameSpace that was used to keep the print off of the glass. Depending on which FrameSpace was placed in the frame package, it may not be applying any pressure at all to the print. Some of the FrameSpace profiles aren't made to hold a print in place at all, just supply some working room and space between the glass and image for the mats/mount to fit without touching the glass.

I would consider talking to the customer about matting and completely redoing the print. Redlins aren't made to be framed without mats in my opinion. With that wide white border, it must look very generic with no mats on it.

I would suggest using Preservationspace I or Econospace or the solid spacer made by Arlo if they don't go for a redo. These are stronger than Framespace and will hold the print in place better than the thin walled Framespace.

Keep in mind that, with the print already buckled, you may not have much luck with anything you try until you get the buckles out of the paper which isn't always an easy task.

Good luck.

If the backing is suede, I guess some of it must be showing, so the spacers aren't touching the print.

Something - luck, ATG, rubber cement, chewing gum? - is holding the print in place and restricting it's movement. Improperly.
In reply to is pressure fit...print came in flat in shink wrap...not sure of the paper type?? and well it a Limited edition released in 2003 but I think it would still be available somewhere certainly not a one of a kind
In reply to looks like your typical gas station print!! Anyway I can probalby convince her now to mat it after it buckled but how can I fix the print or should I just start bidding on Ebay for the replace ment! :eek:
Ron the suede is the same size as the print so it doen't show and the spacers are on the white of the print. The whole package is double frame,glass, spacer, print,suede mat, a/f foam board... wish I'd have thought to use my gum!!!!
I've never understood the rationale behind a pressure fit with spacers. What this means to me is that the print is held down around the outside edges while the rest of the print expands and contracts with humidity changes. If you WANTED a print to buckle and ripple, this would be the way to do it.

Greg from Frame Tek can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think this is how he intended for FrameSpace to be used.

Joni, out of curiosity, why would you use a suede backing if it doesn't show?
I was told by an experienced framer of 8 years( myself only 3 years) that this is how to get this print to stay without mats... I guess the suede was to act as friction for the print... guess she was wrong!!! Any ideas on the rippled print I know i can talk the customer into a mat know hat she has seen the problem but is the print ruined?
Thanks !!
You may have good luck putting the print in a cold press (no heat) for 20 or 30 min. I have saved quite a few LE prints this way. On rare occasions I have misted the verso of the print with distilled water then ran in press another 20 or so min. Notice I said mist, not soak.
As Ron has suggested, rigid spacers should never
be placed on the edges of a sheet of paper. Doing
that ensures that the center of the sheet will
expand as humidity rises, but the edges will not
be able to and the result will be cockling, throughout the center of the sheet. Spacers are
meant to be set outside the edges of the sheet.

in our shop we would not apply water directly to the print, we would apply it to a paper "sandwich" and put it in the heat press---multiple times, and then weight it down.
The instructions that came with the FrameSpace are quite clear about having NO PRESSURE on the backing if the art is under the spacer. You might as well taped the art down all around. The instructions also talked about NOT putting the
spacers against the art because of bucklin and abrasion.

The "Strength" of a spacer is not a factor in a frame because there should never be any pressure on the backing as it will not expand and contract freely with changes in humidity. That's also why you should not use spring clips in metal frames. Too much pressure - even if you bend them to be loose.

The solid peel-n-stik spacers weigh almost twice as the hollow ones do. This is important because the shear effect of that weight on the adhesive is what makes the top piece iin a frame sag with time.

That's why EconoSpace is hollow. For stiffness and lightness. EconoSpace is also the only one with a 5 mill adhesive - all the rest are 2 mil. Contact me if you want a test report on adhesives used on spacers.