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Question What can I do about warped hardboard?

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wpfay

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Hi kormanik, welcome to the G!

That is a sticky wicket.
The solution, if there is one, depends on the relative value of what is on the other side of the hardboard panel.
If of significant value, a conservator should be engaged, otherwise finishing off the buildout on the back and reinforcing it with an internal strainer might do the trick.
There are many possible negative side effects from doing anything, so doing nothing is an option. Other than getting rid of the wire hanger and using either a two point hanger from the vertical blocks glued to the back, or an aluminum cleat hanger on the upper horizontal block. I would be hard pressed to do anything without getting a conservator involved beyond that..
 

kormanik

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Hi kormanik, welcome to the G!

That is a sticky wicket.
The solution, if there is one, depends on the relative value of what is on the other side of the hardboard panel.
If of significant value, a conservator should be engaged, otherwise finishing off the buildout on the back and reinforcing it with an internal strainer might do the trick.
There are many possible negative side effects from doing anything, so doing nothing is an option. Other than getting rid of the wire hanger and using either a two point hanger from the vertical blocks glued to the back, or an aluminum cleat hanger on the upper horizontal block. I would be hard pressed to do anything without getting a conservator involved beyond that..
Wally, thanks for the reply. And for the unintended humor about "hard pressed." I'd considered putting some heavy weights on the opposing corners to see what happens! 🙂
 

Ylva

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Welcome to the G Kormanik.

I doubt heavy weights would do much in correcting this.
Can you tell us what is on the other side, and what is the story? How did it get warped? Is this for a customer or a personal project?

How are those blocks attached? I would probably detach them and build a good solid frame plus strainer, then fit as usual. Might help with the warping. But all depends what is on the other side.
 

kormanik

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Welcome to the G Kormanik.

I doubt heavy weights would do much in correcting this.
Can you tell us what is on the other side, and what is the story? How did it get warped? Is this for a customer or a personal project?

How are those blocks attached? I would probably detach them and build a good solid frame plus strainer, then fit as usual. Might help with the warping. But all depends what is on the other side.
Yiva, thanks for your reply. Apologies for joking about the weights. The other side is an abstract painting thick with palette knife strokes. The client purchased it at auction. Not a known artist but I think the painting is important to her. It looks like the blocks are glued to the hardboard and could be easily removed. As you noted, I'm not sure how the paint material (oil) would flex or crack.
 

Ylva

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Not sure....it also depends on what is under the paint. Gesso? Just the hardboard?
If it is true oil, you might be lucky. Any idea if the oil has cured enough (how long ago was it painted?)

I think I would try to remove the blocks and frame the whole thing. It might work. Plus send a few prayers to the framing gods of course :p

I think I would suggest a conservator, or decline the job as you cannot predict what will happen. (so don't make it your problem).
 
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kormanik

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Not sure....it also depends on what is under the paint. Gesso? Just the hardboard?
If it is true oil, you might be lucky. Any idea if the oil has cured enough (how long ago was it painted?)

I think I would try to remove the blocks and frame the whole thing. It might work. Plus send a few prayers to the framing gods of course :p

I think I would suggest a conservator, or decline the job as you cannot predict what will happen. (so don't make it your problem).
Yiva, sound advice. Sometimes it's best just to say thanks but no thanks and save my prayers to the framing gods.
 

framah

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It's obvious that those pieces of lumber on the back are useless for anything more than scratching the wall.

Based on how bad the back of it looks, I'd say glue another complete frame of 2x2 wood inside of what is already on there.
This new inner frame needs to be a complete frame as in mitered and glued corners so it is one solid piece.
Weight it overnite so the glue sets firmly in a flat position. this should correct it.


Also looks like something peed on it in the lower left corner. :vomit:
 

CHolt

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If you're going to mount it to a substrate then sandwich a piece of MDF in-between the back of the art and another piece of hardboard of the same type and thickness. Use PVA glue, apply it with a paint roller to each side of the MDF, press the sandwich for several hours then air dry it on top of a few 1x1 sticks or something similar for 24 hours. Three quarter in. MDF would do the trick, but it will be heavy, use your discretion in choosing 3/4, 1/2, 3/8 or 1/4 in. MDF. Painting the outside of the back piece of hardboard might further help to balance the whole thing.
 

DVieau2

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A grid shaped strainer fit inside the existing boards and glued.

Removing those boards might risk taking the hardboard with it. I would leave them alone.

I would use some weights to flatten but slowly and only a little at a time, maybe over a week or more. Each day examine the front for hints of damage.
 
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Rick Hennen

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Most panels warp due to a difference in moisture on one face vs the other. When we cover a panel (usually Ultralight MDF) with veneer we almost always apply a less expensive veneer to the other side in order to counter balance the potential warping. If we prime one face before we cover it with fabric we also prime the back side. The artwork on the face of this panel causes one side to react differently when there are changes in the relative humidity. If the owner is not against it I would consider coating the back side of the panel with something to offset the difference in the way the 2 faces react to the moisture in the air. I would also see if there is room in the frame to add a stabilizing strainer.
 
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