Tips and Tools for Mounting and Framing Photographs

Celebrate your love for photography by framing your best shots. Antique picture frames will work well with sepia portraits and landscapes. Black and white and more modern-themed shots can be displayed in their best light with contemporary frames, such as silver picture frames with clean, simple lines. You can also choose from a variety of shapes and sizes.

Once you have selected your photos and picture frames, the next step is to mount the photos properly. Here are some photo mounting tips and tools:

  • Choose the right mounting technique. There are a number of permanent mounting techniques, such as wet mounting (using glue) and dry mounting (using applied heat). These types of techniques result in the photo being permanently attached to the mounting board. Trying to remove the photo from the board will only damage the photo. We highly recommend a non-permanent mounting technique. This will ensure that you can mount the photo, minimize damage in the long-term and easily remove the photo from the mounting board when needed. That way, you can change the picture frame when this gets too old or when you need to change the overall presentation of the photo.
  • Choose the right mounting board. This is where you attach the photo. The mounting board provides support to the photo and keeps it from creasing and warping. It also secures the photo so that it does not move around. Avoid cardboard, as this contains a high level of acid that can lead to yellow or discoloured photos over time. Select a low-acid or completely acid free mounting board. The standard foam 1/8-inch mounting board may contain a low level of acid but can be appropriate for pictures that can easily be reprinted or duplicated. Another choice will be a polystyrene core that is covered by paper. This is light yet solid enough to do the job. In addition, choose a mounting board that is not prone to warping.
  • Allow for changes in the paper. With the changes in temperature and weather, the paper where the photo is printed will respond by expanding or contracting. That is why a permanent mounting method is not advisable as it does not give paper the leeway it needs when it expands or contracts. The hinge method, where only one edge of the photo is attached to the mounting board is ideal. Since the photo simply hangs from one side, the paper can more freely expand and contract without causing warping or creases on the photo.
  • Use the proper photo mounting tools.
    • Acid-free tape. As mentioned, you can use tape to mount the photo using the hinging method. There are a variety of tapes, ranging from paper tape, linen tape and plastic tape.
    • Photo corners. Photo corners are excellent options as they minimize chemical contact with the photo. There are photo corners that also have a wide opening at the front, so that the photo corners are not visible.
    • Hinging tissue. This is a variation of the tape, where you use Japanese paper lined with wheat adhesive.
    • Mounting strips. This is a variation of the photo corner, where, rather than the corners, the photo is mounted at the edges.
  • Use proper care during the mounting process. The oils and moisture from your fingers can also result in long-term damage. When handling the photo, wash your hands and dry them thoroughly.
31st Aug 2015 Eric Morgan

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