If you want to learn to frame, start by taking classes, and consider education to be an ongoing process. Just as it is in the photo industry, technology in custom framing is always changing.

These tips assume you are framing an inkjet print:

Wear gloves and use a sneeze guard!

Any tiny droplet of moisture can damage a digital print. There are many other considerations to framing digital output beyond protecting it from the ravages of things like adhesives or saliva. For instance, a mounting press set to the old standard of 225 degrees Fahrenheit will wreak havoc on an inkjet print, as inkjet inks typically boil at 156 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, inkjet prints on canvas that have not been stretched may crack around the edges.

Be sure to use acid – free materials and spray your prints with a coating to protect against damage from moisture.

Also consider protecting your images with conservation glass. It will cut down on the reflections that contain harmful UV light.

This is just a starting point – those of you with actual framing experience, feel free to jump in and add to the list in the comments file.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Scott,
    A friend of mine was having a problem with “fogging” of the glass after she framed her large ink-jet prints. After she mentioned this to me I suggested waiting longer for them to dry before framing. This seemed to help, but didn’t completely eliminate the fog.
    Any suggestions on how she can solve this problem?

  2. For non-archival framing (thought they do say it is archival), I use cold mounting such as Scott #568. This is not the spray on kind, you need a press or ‘squeegee’ with release paper. There are no heat concerns, no mounting paper to cut and its repositionable during the process.

    Great Podcast.



  3. Crescent Perfect Mount is a self-adhesive mounting board (which also eliminates the need for any other backing board) that is fairly easy to work with.Until you’ve pressed with a roller, (similar to what JaggerMyster mentioned, I think) you /may/ still be able to reposition. I’ve had problems trying this with posters and thick paper, but not photos.

    First you cut your matting and mounting board to size. Dry fit your photo and matte to get the desired placement of your photo. Hold the photo to the mounting board and remove the outer matte(s). Use a pen-knife to mark all four corners of the photo on the matte (cut deep, it can be hard to see once you remove the backing paper). You then peel off the backing paper, revealing the adhesive. Using the marks you cut, line up the backing paper around 1/2″ to 1″ below one edge of where you want your photo. Place the photo, lined up with your two exposed corner marks, and press lightly in the center. Lift the backing paper and move it down, exposing 2-3 more inches of adhesive surface, and lightly press the photo onto the backing from the top. Continue in this fashion until the backing paper is fully removed. Place the backing paper *over* the photo and mounting board and use your roller to press the photo, working from the center out, to remove any air bubbles and make sure the photo is mounted securely. Remove the backing paper, place your matte (including the center piece you cut out for your photo) on the mounting board, cover with the backing paper (to avoid marking the matte) and roll one more time. Place under a few large books to apply pressure for a few minutes. Pick up your backing paper and remove the scrap piece of matte, and voila. Frame and done.

    Next time I get the materials to frame a photo at home, I’ll make an attempt at recording this and make a howto video.

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