Oversized prints

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Oversized prints

Post by Alizarin » Mon 12 Apr, 2021 8:37 am

Hi there. Could anyone advise on the best way to frame an oversized print? The customer doesn't want it behind glass (thank goodness cos it's too big!) She also doesn't mind if its struck down onto its support. Someone suggested 4mm MDF but I think that would be too heavy? Its 175cm x 94cm. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Oversized prints

Post by prospero » Mon 12 Apr, 2021 9:44 am

First of all it would need to be drymounted. And if it's not to have glass, covered in heatseal film at the same time.
Know anyone with a press that will take a 6 foot print? Maybe there are printers or signmakers near you who could do it?
If it were mounted on 2.5mm MDF it would be OK weight-wise but it would be a bit floppy so it would really need the support
of a backing frame which could be something knocked up from PSE timber and glued to the board.

Good Luck. :D
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Re: Oversized prints

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 12 Apr, 2021 11:13 am

MDF is loaded with acid creating substances and also Formadehide which can adversely affect the printed colours on artworks. Also given the right atmosphere humidity levels, MDF very easily will develop mould. Restoring artworks after mould infestation is not always fully succesful. It is generally better not to use MDF at all, if the print matters at all. Don't get me wrong MDF has it's uses and many framers still use it in appropriate situations, but it is not always used, where conservation quality framing is required. However even then there are exceptions where MDF does get used my museum framers and the surfaces of the MDF are sealed to prevent such problems. MDF can be a very useful material in particular situations. I have personally used it when framing heavy object and the backing board needs to support the extra weight. It is possible to seal MDF with special materials, but I am not the most qualified person to suggest what is be to use. Many paints, varnishes and primers are not completely impenetratiele by mould, so find out first from a conservation expert. Metalised Polyester is some times bonded to the sides and edges of MDF, but it requires special materials and techniques to do this, so not very practical for most of us.

It is well to be aware that not all available types of polyester film are a moisture proof barrier, in fact many varieties of polyester film have been irradiated to allow microscopically small holes to be created in the film to let it breathe, this actually applies to most packaging grade of polyester film although most users do not know this. Acrylic paints dry with tiny microscopic holes in the the acrylic as well and many contain significant volumes of pigment which although they are successfully suspended in the acrylic medium can still provide a pathways fo gas, or water vapour to be transfered through the paint. This is also true of many other paints, varnishes and primers. Many apparently waterproof paints, varnishes and primers dry by creating microscopic holes to let water based finishes loose the remnants of the water escape and the same often applied to solvent, oil based finises.

It's all very much more complicated that it might at first appear. Materials like builders thick polythene are used for damp proofing, but polythene out gases polymerisers, which are not conversation friendly and do nasty things to some pigments, inks and other media. All a bit of a minefield to many of us. In theory at least Picreator Reaisance wax is not gas, or moisture permiable, but I'm pretty sure that permiable materials like MDF, would need something special to seal the surface of the MDF first to pervent to wax from being absorbed in to the MDF and ceasing to be effective. In general polyester varnishes can age and crack, or flake. This is a far from easy subject for most of us to guess at and it is genuinely a subject for those with specific specialised knowledge, if fully conservation framing is of primary importance.

In Humid places, like kitchens and bathrooms, I prefer to seal everything within a taped up package usuing the Linco aluminium barrier tape to tape around the front edge of glass and round the back which is covered with Corex. Corex does not have especially good penetration resistance so I add a final waterproof solid kraft backing board as a final backing board to give it some more serious protection. Water proof sealing is of course not necessarily a conservation framing requirement, as therefore is often a separate issue, which may unnecessarily affect the price for the job, but I though I would mention it anyway, just in case as it provides a lot of protection. It's a lot of words, but I hope that it will be fairly comprehensive and helpful.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Oversized prints

Post by JFeig » Mon 12 Apr, 2021 4:21 pm

Welcome Alizarin,
Are you thinking of acrylic glazing material (Perspex®)?
What are the clients budget, needs and expectations?
Is this "decorative art" or "fine art"?

It would be helpful to know in regards as to the lifespan of the art. Art on paper needs to be protected via glazing to keep air pollution, fumes and sprays from the paper surface.

Jerome Feig CPF®

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