Proper Care and Mounting of Your Limited Edition Art Print
Limited Editions require high quality matting, backing, framing, and glazing, because you don't want the framing materials to damage a print that has specifically been produced to last generations. Conservation materials are a must. Here is some information to help when you go to your framer.
Mounting and Matting
Dry mount and mat your print with archival quality materials. When you go to your professional framer, ask him or her to "conservation mount" your print. What that means is:
- The framer will use only 100% acid free mounting and matting materials;
- They won't use buffered materials, which are only suitable for
black and white images;
- For prints larger than 16" x 20", because they require more support
to keep them from bowing in the middle and touching the glazing, your framer will probably use an
extra layer of 100% acid free foam core attached to the
back of the mount board (not the back of the print);
- Your framer will make sure the mat adequately separates the print from the
glazing. The print should never touch the glazing. 4-ply mats are used for prints up to 16" x 20" and 8-ply or a double mat for larger prints.
Glazing is important to protect the print from various types
of damage resulting from sources such as smoke, ozone, cooking
fumes and human touch or abrasion.
- Glass is the best glazing. It is inexpensive, easy to cut, chemically
inert, and resistant to scratches.
- Museum glass has a transparent, anti-reflective
coating that makes it almost invisible. This is not the
frosted glass that was used in the past to reduce glare.
Modern museum glass has a coating similar to what is used
on today's camera lenses. The coating minimizes
reflections, making the glass very difficult to see.
- If you live in an area prone to earthquakes or you have a
large print, your framer may suggest UV-blocking Plexiglas®
Selection of the right frame is important for both print
longevity and aesthetic appeal.
- Metal frames are best. Wood frames can contain glue and
other chemicals left over from finishing and these
chemicals can leach out over time in the form of a gas
and discolor the mat or mount board or the print itself.
- Use a frame that has sufficient strength to support the
size of the image and the type of glazing selected. If
glass glazing is used, the frame needs to be more
Where you hang your print is important for its longevity. All
color prints fade over time. It doesn't matter what process was
used to make the print. Some printing processes have better
archival properties than others. Our prints are made with the
most state-of-the-art archival printing process and materials to
insure that your prints will last as long as possible. Still,
some basic precautions are in order.
- Never hang your print in direct sunlight, regardless of
the type of glazing used;
- Make sure that the location will not expose your print to
excessive heat or humidity, and that the print won't be
subjected to extreme changes in heat or humidity. It's
best not to hang prints directly next to a heating duct,
air conditioner, aquarium, or place a humidifier near
Make sure your lighting has proper UV filters. Many museums
use indirect lighting because it reduces the exposure of the
print to direct light, prolonging the life of the print.