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Unwarping/preventing warping of 1/8th inch hardboard panels


Grumbler in Training
Nov 30, 2019
I am new to art, painting on 1/8th inch hardboard panels. I fear if I make the panels bigger than 11x14 warping will be a real possibility.
do frames keep panels from warping? How about larger sizes (ie 16x20) or thicker (1/4inch) panels?
I will be making my own frames
thank you


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Nov 7, 2005
Have you seen the panels being sold commercially? Some kind of poplar plywood with a reinforcing frame. The panel itself is reinforced with multiple plies, and the back frame adds more. Using a 1/8 HDF is not right for the long term.

However, you could lessen the bowing by gessoing the back.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Feb 16, 2007
The problem with all kinds of particle board including the old artists' favourite, Masonite, is that one sniff of water, even high humidity will cause warping and, no, a frame around the outside will do nothing to mitigate it in fact, as the board swells, the frame may ever make matters worse.

Painting on panels is o.k. - timber is a long standing and traditional substrate but for stability and longevity it must be stable and able to resist varying atmospheric conditions. You also need to research the best media for priming it.

My suggestion would be to use marine grade plywood at least 3/8" thick as Tedh suggests. If you want to go big, best stick to canvas if you don't want a hernia or all types of hanging problems.


PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Jan 27, 2010
You could also make strainers smaller than the panels and then glue the strainers to the back of the panels.
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