Reversible drymount


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 26, 2002
De Pere, WI
Has anyone used that new reversible drymount product? I searched for the topic where it was mentioned but no luck.

I have two posters, one limited addition 24x36 (signed and numbered), the other 20x30 with an autograph on it. They've been rolled up in tubes for awhile. Customer is willing to have them dry mounted, but I'm not sure if it's OK to do regular drymounting with the signitures on them.

Any advise? (silly question)
I've used it a few times now. It seems to work as advertised. Don't know that that helps you though. If you're going to dry mount anyway, I'd go that way. But, I'd think pretty hard on it even with the Artcare Restore.
I'm not sure if it's OK to do regular dry mounting with the signatures on them.
Denny, I know what you're asking (I think) but the wording of your post goes to the root of what many find objectionable about framing standards.

Is it "okay" to do a regular dry mount with signed posters? If it's okay with your customer and it's okay with you, then it's okay with me.

(I don't think it'll be okay with Rebecca, but I won't tell if you won't.)

I haven't used the product yet, but those who have have been mostly enthusiast.

If you're going to dry mount them anyway, and that's going to be the only practical way to have them look good, then it would seem like this stuff (ArtCare Restore?) might be the most conservative-possible approach.

At this stage of the game, I wouldn't overplay the reversibility of the product but, as long as it sticks the posters down, you'll have a better shot at un-sticking them than you would with other dry mount products. At the very least.

[ 10-23-2004, 07:53 AM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
If you have problems with the mounting, you can always get Less to stand next to them for a little while. :D
I agree that with posters, if it's OK with the customer, go ahead and dry mount...but get a release signed. It's always good to cover yourself.

With a signed limited edition print, I will refuse the job entirely if the customer insists on mounting of any kind except for hinging. Now as soon as my fellow grumblers and preservators say the new reversible product works...I might accept it, but it's kind of like changing the ten's hard for an old dog to accept new tricks. Certain axioms seem to be written in stone.

Dave Makielski
When I mention the word “drymount”, I always get real serious and say, “Now this can never be reversed. That means that what ever we mount it to will be there for ever and ever and ever!”

Every time I do finally drymount something like this, it bothers me so that I only get 9 or 10 hours of sleep that night. Now I may be posting from jail one day but for now I say tell the customer what you’re doing and do it.

Its amazing how many people don’t want things drymounted after my spiel but won’t even discuss matting because of the price. Spacers…..notta chance. No they want it wedged between a board and glass (regular glass I may add). The framing THEY CHOOSE will have long destroyed the poster before the drymounting would have been an issue. After I have said my peace, I rarely push the issue. As long as the checks keep cashing and I’m not in framer prison, this system of “give the customers what they want” is working.

As for the topic, I find Artcare Restore an amazing product. I have messed with it a little bit and I think I really like it. Depending on the price I may start pricing this type of job using it. That way I might get 10.5 hours of sleep.
Originally posted by Dancinbaer:
Has anyone used that new reversible drymount product? I searched for the topic where it was mentioned but no luck.

I love this product and have been using it for about 6 weeks. It is like so many tools available to us--you have to use it with common sense. It isn't right for every situation, but it gives us another option.

So far I've used it to mount

certain limited editions (You know the ones that are #17,895/#59870 that will always be available from the publisher, *cough*)

Art students class project--great for the masterpiece that was produced on the dime store "Art" paper that is only slightly heavier than Puffs Plus.

Newspaper that the customer couldn't "STAND!" to see wrinkles or waves in. ("Just make sure it's FLAT!")

It's ultimately the customer's call (signed authorization is always a good idea) after all the options have been spelled out. I love it so far, and think it's great when our industry comes up with a solution for some of our framing challenges.
Well, you know Ron, after reading so many posts on drymounting I think I've been ground down and can see its place in the world.

I really wish there were some independent research agency who could analyse and artificially age all of these proprietary adhesives. And then another independent body (FACTS or some such) could print a blurb handout on projected pros and cons of their use.

Of course the manufacturers would then have to pledge not to change the formula without informing the appropriate agencies.

I believe in the Great Pumpkin too. ;)

Every mounting process has its pros and cons. I haven't seen any document where Bainbridge actually labels the product as DryMount; only archival heat activated foamboard. Though, sometimes we attempt to split hairs with terminology.

Bainbridge does say that Artcare Restore meets all existing FACTS guidelines for preservation framing and has passed the PAT (Photographic Activity Test). It's up to the individual to make the determination if the product being used is acceptable or proper.

Like Barb, we've used the product for a while on similar projects. We've even used it on Limited Edition artwork that had been framed for years on regular mounting board, paper mats and regular glass.... and has been damaged by all of the above. We've even mounted and reversed paper that is less substantial than "Puffs Plus"

We attach a label (Bainbridge Spec Sheet) inside the dust cover indicating that the mounting product is Artcare Restore, time and temp used to mount and also a copy of Bainbridge removal instructions. That is mainly to minimize a future framer from opening the package and saying "S*&%, Oh Dear, this has been drymounted and all value has been destroyed"!

Though I only have basic test equipment, I have not been able to detect any adhesive remaining on a mount that has been reversed.... as long as the original mount was performed to the manufacturer's instructions. I have seen adhesive remaining on mounts that were done using excessive temperature, excessive pressure and excessive time in various combinations. The adhesive glows under a black light and I have not been able to detect any "Glowing" on a reversed mount. I imagine that even starch paste leaves some residue when reversed.
I think its wonderful that Rick is doing these test and experiments, and has found that the Artcare product is reversible when applied as per instructions, and has passed the PAT test. My main question would be - how long does it remain reversible?

Adhesives often change as they age - the molecules can cross link and the adherends become much more difficult to separate.

When Bainbridge first came out with ArtCare zeolite boards, they spent some money having a conservation scientist do artificial aging tests. The guy works for CCI, but I don't know if these tests were done under the CCI umbrella. At any rate, the results were used as part of Bainbridge's marketing plan.

I don't think it would cost Bainbridge all that much to have similar artificial aging tests done (relative to the amount they expect to make) for their other high end products. These tests aren't foolproof, but do give some indication of longevity. Or perhaps Bainbridge has and I just don't know it?? Always possible.


Yes, I am sure it is impossible to remove every trace of starch paste, but starch is very stable and has passed natural artifical aging tests. It is not always the right adhesive for the right job though. Too bad!
Thanks everyone for your discussion. I will definetly go the route of a signed release form though.
I have a little trouble with using "Restore" and asking the customer to sign a release. I think that if you recommend a product, that you should do so with confidence - or don't offer it. The exception would be if the customer demands gluing down a piece that should be mounted to conservation standards and you don't have confidence in Restore's reversibility - then go ahead and get a release - it's certainly better than Fusion, etc. I have decided to go ahead and offer Restore as an alternative conservation product. At first I think I will limit the offer to LE prints and the occasional piece that needs flattening. I will include unmounting instructions in the package, but I will not ask for a release if I suggest he product.

Interesting, Pat. I think I agree with you.

I would also suggest to the customer that, while it is almost certainly more conservative than other heat-mounting materials, I couldn't make any personal guarantees about reversibility because it is a new product with limited experience.

I still remember when 3M Micropore - a medical tape - was touted as a conservation material.