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Scratch on mat board

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Alexander

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Sep 17, 2019
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Norway
I was moving a picture with new mat board when my finger slipped and the nail of my finger caused a scratch across the mat. Is there any way of removing the scratch? Don't have any more of that mat on stock and customer is waiting😑 20201002_150558.jpg
 
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tedh

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Have you tried wetting it and raising the nap?
 

Ylva

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Not sure what matboard that is.
sometimes, like Ted said, mist it little and rub it slightly.

Things that have worked for me: above method. Using kneading eraser, pressing it into the mat then lift it.
Lightly scratch it with pointy object (awl or needle)
Eraser, use lightly.

Or 'distress' the mat like that all over so it matches (last resolve) :)
 

artfolio

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The problem with scratches which have roughed up the surface is that even if you manage to smooth them out the damaged area will often still show up as a dull or shiny patch under some lighting conditions. As Tedh and Ylva have said an indentation will sometimes respond to moisture and/or pressure but it is usually a one-shot deal and too much attention will, again, result in a dull or shiny patch.

My track record on dealing with such problems was about 50 - 50.
 
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Alexander

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Sep 17, 2019
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It was a crescent conservation mat. Did the steam treatment and it worked well, took the shinyness right out. Was a bit fearful of using a rubber, tried with the arcade paper cleaning pad before and it made the mat shiny. Will look into one of those fiberglass pen thingys. Thanks for the replies. 👍
 

Alexander

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Btw, how would you rate cresent matboards? We stay away from their "good" range and stick with their better and best ranges. Are there mat boards out there that everyone avoids?
 

wpfay

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I use almost entirely alpha-cellulose or rag boards, and get them from a few sources. Easy availability is a key component. Mostly Bainbridge, Artique, Rising, and Crescent. All but Rising are delivered from local or regional distributors on their weekly truck delivery. Rising I order in multiple boxes and have it shipped in by motor freight a couple times a year, the rest are pretty much on demand.
As far as favorites go, that is a bit evolutionary. Although long term, the different manufacturers seem to go in and out of favor. I currently use mainly Rising, supplemented with Artique. Bainbridge has had some issues with stock and foreign matter in the core material of their Alphamat line, and Crescent Select is notably thinner than the other alpha-cellulose options.
I used to use Miller/TruVue and Strathmore mats, but they aren't available any more.
I also like the Peterboro line, but not enough to pay freight. If I could get them easily, they would probably become my first choice in decorative mats.
 

artfolio

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My biggest bugbear, and all manufacturers were guilty of this, used to be little pieces of black gunk embedded in the paper, most noticeable on the whites and off-whites so beloved of artists.

In my worst experience I framed 24 large prints using Crescent's Antique White Rag Matt and had to recut 9 of them despite carefully checking each one before cutting it. That was the day I put all the whites and off-whites together at the back of my caddy and started using the flannels as my first choice. I don't think I ever used Antique White again after that.
 

tedh

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I use a ten-power loupe from Lee Valley to inspect those pieces of dirt under the top layer of white and off-white mats. Most times I can dig them out and restore the surface with a Wizard blade. The Bainbridges are the easiest to recover, and the Crescents are the hardest. There have been times when I just leave them, and no customer has remarked on them, but generally I take them out. Not a big deal; dig them out, dab the area with a clean wet cloth, come back later and work the area if necessary, but never when wet.
 
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artfolio

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I use a ten-power loupe from Lee Valley to inspect those pieces of dirt under the top layer of white and off-white mats. Most times I can dig them out and restore the surface with a Wizard blade. The Bainbridges are the easiest to recover, and the Crescents are the hardest. There have been times when I just leave them, and no customer has remarked on them, but generally I take them out. Not a big deal; dig them out, dab the area with a clean wet cloth, come back later and work the area if necessary, but never when wet.

You must be a better surgeon than I was.

I could manage o.k. with textured cards but the smooth ones - no way. No matter how carefully I dug the hole was always visible afterwards from some angle and who knows where it will end up hanging?

I should have said earlier that I junked the smooth whites and off-whites and after that most customers accepted the textured ones without question.
 

tedh

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Agreed on the smooth ones. The Bainbridges can be excavated with a D8 Cat and still look good.

Lol!
 

Framar

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Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Sometimes I have salvaged a dug out speck hole with a smidgeon of chalk. Sometimes it works, sometimes it blinks on and off like a neon sign.

Worth trying . . .
 

alacrity8

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It is my understanding that the big matboard companies source their surface colored papers from the same places.
Their is a shade of Olive Green, and a certain shade of Brick Red that tend to scuff, no matter which manufacturer I get them from.

I have yet to successfully remove an imbedded fleck from any matboard, with the exception of on a bevel cut.
On a bevel it is about 50/50.
As we stock a large supply of mats, it is usually easier to just recut the damned mat, and move on.
 

Framar

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Oh! That brick red matboard is a real bear. Fresh blade and the bevel still looks raggedy! I don't know why I still bother offering it.
 
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framah

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Quite a few years ago, my Rising white mats were coming in with those black specs..enough that I managed to get a whole box of 25 sheets from Rising to replace the bad ones.
Seems they managed to get it under control as I see almost no specs anymore.

Winter is my worst time for scuffs on dark mats as my hands are so dry that they have tiny cracks and roughness.
 

JRB

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Wipe it with a very clean damp sponge, just one wipe is all, don't overdo it, don't get it too wet. Practice on some scraps to get the feel for it first.
 

framah

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Better, dampen the end of a Q-tip and make sure it isn't dripping.. and roll it along the scuff.

Let it dry and see how it looks. Repeat as needed.

90% of the time it works. The other 10%, you get another mat out of the rack.
 

tedh

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I have never wiped a mat. Every mat I’ve worked on has been dabbed with a damp cloth. It may take a few tries to get it done. In some cases, I’ve sprayed distilled water on it, to the extent that I soaked it. It always comes back. Wiping leaves a trail.
 

artfolio

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Yep, so many methods of dealing with this but what we really need is an egg timer and a bit of math.

Calculate the value of the matboard against your hourly overheads and work out exactly how many minutes you can afford to spend trying to salvage it, set the timer and go to work. When the timer dings, drop it and recut.

I would bet that in the majority of cases recutting would be the final result.
 
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tedh

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Well, Murphy was a framer, and Murphy’s Second Law is:

The risk of a black spot under the top layer rises in proportion to the size of the mat.

And, of course, the closer the deadline, the higher the possibility of a black spot under the top layer.

Or, the longer it takes to re-order the mat, the higher the .............
 
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