What usually works well isn't today!


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nov 19, 2003
Orange County, CA
Normally when I do a double sided piece (in this case a sheet of $10 bills) I'll encapsulate the artwork with Mylar and then set it between opposing mats. Usually this looks great, allows the edges of the artwork to be seen, and obviously is fully reversible.

I've never had a problem with this approach before, but today I just cannot get the Mylar to lay perfectly flat, so I am getting too much of a wavy effect (especially on the front) which I know will not sit well with this particular client! It looks OK straight on, but at any kind of an angle is not up to the usual result.

I'm using 3 mil Mylar (and yes the curvature is facing the correct way). Perhaps going to thicker Mylar would help, but I don't have any in stock so will have to wait for a delivery if I go this route.

So I'm wondering about other approaches (e.g. sandwiching the artwork between plexi instead of Mylar, but this will look a bit odd as it will separate the opposing mats by 3/16" or so.

Any other ideas? Appreciate your thoughts! Jim? Anyone?
Those sheets are fairly large. It may be too much to ask of the plastic film. You may get it flat and it will buckle later due to temperature and humidity change.

I'd go with thin acrylic. There is .060 and thinner available. Should not be an issue having it in contact with the art in this case.
If you used the clear film sheets with their convex sides facing together, and if you used 3M #889 or #415 double-sided tape within 1/4" of the art paper's edges, then you have an unusual problem.

The only time I experienced what you describe was when I accidentally created the encapsulation package with a slight warp. That is, the clear film sheets appeared to be gently wrinkled. If that could be the issue, you could just disassemble the mount and re-position both sheets together more carefully.

Or, maybe it would flatten if you put your encapsulation-mounted sheet in the vacuum press for a minute, between release papers or matboards. That would not harm anything, but it would get all air out of the mount and flatten it.

Using thicker clear film might help, only because the sheets would be a bit stiffer and more likely to go together without a warp.

Using two sheets of acrylic would be OK, or one sheet of acrylic and one of clear film. In any case, be sure you have an insulating air gap between your mount and the final glazings front and back. I suggest at least 1/8", and 1/4" is better.

Uber-framing idea: If you use Optium Acrylic sheets and mat spacers to create the air gaps front and back, it will look like the sheet of bills is free-floating between the outer glazings.
Thanks for the feedback Jim ... the "gentle wrinkling" (very gentle actually) that you mention is what I am seeing (on one side only). I have dismantled and reassembled three times, and each time the same problem.

I have used this method many times before without issue, and have been careful when positioning the Mylar; and yes have been using 889 at the prescribed distance.

I hadn't thought about running it in the vacuum press ... good idea, I'll give it a try.

I am wondering if the problem could be related to the glazing. I am using Con Clear on the front and acrylic on the back. Perhaps static from the acrylic is causing a slight distortion (even though I have tried static dispersal with damp chamois). I might try glass on the back.

Once again, thanks for the feedback.
Originally posted by CAframer:
...I am wondering if the problem could be related to the glazing...Perhaps static from the acrylic is causing a slight distortion...
Glazing probably is not contributing to the problem, but you just never know. Sometimes it's difficult to understand all of the forces at work in framing. Trial & error is a good proecedure, so long as a customer's property is not at risk.