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Painting on Drafting Film (Mylar)

January 24, 2009
Single Sheet of Film

Single Sheet of Film

I’ve received some new sheets of drafting film that I had ordered, and wanted to show some samples here of how it can be used as a painting surface. This is a sheet of “double matte” (meaning frosted on both sides) polyester film. There’s another version with a clear glossy surface, but although paint will adhere to that too, it holds better on this etched surface.

Back in the ancient days of my animation career I used the clear type of this film as cels with vinyl paint, and for many years since then have used the frosted type for inks and pencil. Only recently have I begun to use other types of paint on this. Below you can see various paint swatches of gouache and oil. Acrylics and casein work well with it also. I placed a sheet of colored paper beneath them so you can see how transparent it is. You can also paint on the back, of course. Even gouache sticks to this fairly well.

Gouache Sample

Gouache Sample


Oil Paint Sample

Oil Paint Sample

This product is usually called “Mylar” which is a brand name of DuPont’s. This particular sheet is made by Azon called “Herculene.” There are other brands as well, but they’re all basically the same. This whole sheet is 24 x 36″, 4ml thick and cost me <$5.00 per sheet. It also comes in rolls. When I get time I may make a full write-up about it and post it on my website.



See also my posts regarding…

  • Painting on Yupo Film
  • Testing Polyester Fabric
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  • 87 comments

    1. I was just curious, when painting with oils on the “mylar” do you use mediums such as turpentine? If so, wouldn’t it melt the plastic or not be archival over time?


    2. Hi Sarah. Gum spirits of turpentine would not be strong enough to affect the film. Mineral spirits won’t hurt it either. Polyester sheet isn’t like plastic wrap; it’s pretty stout stuff.

      As for the film being archival, ask me again in a hundred years. Dupont made the film in the early 50s and I’m not sure if those first films were acid free, but I have some pieces that are very old and look new.


    3. Hi,
      I have been experimenting with drawing on Mylar, and I have found any time I use any wet medium on the mylar I get a rippling effect-especially in trying to adhere the mylar to another surface. Have you come across this problem? and what solutions have you found? None of my teachers at school have worked much with mylar, and have no suggestions for me.

      Thanks.


    4. Caitlin, I haven’t noticed any sort of “rippling effect.” I typically glue the film with an acrylic gel (Soft Gel by Golden) coating the gel on both surfaces, and press it down flat for a few hours to dry. No ripples. There are also adhesive sheets you could try, but I’ve found them to not work as well. What sort of wet media are you using, and how wet?


    5. I have noticed the “rippling” or wrinkling of the mylar when I’ve used ink (markers are fine), acrylic paints and any type of glue… including acrylic gels. Even spray adhesive seems to cause a slight puckering, and it doesn’t seem to adhere for very long-the mylar peels off. The same kind of wrinkling happens when the mylar gets wet.
      It is a frosted mylar that I’m using.
      Thanks!


    6. I hate to sound like I’m doubting you, but are you absolutely certain it’s Mylar film you are using? Drafting vellum, for example, looks exactly the same but is made of cotton fiber, and that can indeed wrinkle when wet. Polyester film should not. It certainly never has for me. I have some in front of me now I just held under water and it’s not even curling.


      • My research has revealed the cotton version tears easily but looks similar and seems to be the one used by architects and I guess artists. I have found many sources.
        But I am looking for a solution involving the plastic mylar film or polester film which are the generic names for what is actually Trademarked by Dupont Tejjin Fils. These are plastic sheets made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
        My problem is an old sheet used for a ink drawing is damaged with what was very acidic tape from 30 years ago. Looking to remove this without melting or warping the mylar so that it can be reprinted. Or to leave a residue. Acetone warps it. And thinners leave a residue?
        Any thoughts if this is the mylar that you have
        been using?
        THanks


        • What I’ve been using is not PET film. Sorry, but I don’t have any suggestions for you about safely removing the tape, other than trying to contact the manufacturers or conservators who have dealt with that problem.


        • Contact a paper conservator. You should be able to find one through the AIC website — in your area.


    7. It’s what they have always sold at the school store as Frosted Mylar. It says so right on the package. All of my fellow students at school have found the same problems with it, as well as friends from the design department. It doesn’t burn like paper either. It’s possible it is just a cheaper quality, but it runs at about $6 a sheet.


    8. That’s very odd. Maybe Dupont makes it differently now. The drafting film I have here is made by Azon and some from Graphix that is single sided, neither of which wrinkle. You might try another brand and see how it compares.


    9. I saw some beautiful painting on Mylar at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts student exhibit in Philadelphia and had to try it. I’m working on an oil painting on the Mylar now, and it’s working very well. Unfortunately, I need to attach it to a surface (should have solved that before I started…. oh well). I bought some Mod Podge and a wood panel which I’ll first gesso. Have you ever heard of using Mod Podge to attach the Mylar to the gessoed panel? I know it’s used for decoupage, so figured it could be used in this case.


    10. Helen, I’m familar with the name “Mod Podge” but have not tried it out. I think it’s a form of PVA type adhesive. From what I’ve read it requires a porous surface like fabric, paper, or wood, so you might have trouble with Mylar. Try testing it out on a scrap piece first.

      Another glue I’ve recently tested is Loctite’s “High Performance Spray Adhesive” which is vinyl based and acid free, and it seems to work okay so far. It dries quickly and clear.


    11. Update on the Loctite adhesive: don’t like it as much as I first thought. On a small preliminary test (@3 inches square) the film held fine to a hardboard panel, but a larger sheet has started to become unglued on its own. Small bubbles and wrinkles are appearing. Maybe a heavier coat of glue would be better, but I’m backing away from recommending it now.

      Acrylic gel is still the best adhesive I’ve found for use on drafting film with Graphix Double-Tack adhesive sheets a close 2nd. Another glue I’m investigating now is polyester adhesive thinned 50% with mineral spirits. I thin it so the glue won’t expand as it normally does and to make it brushable. So far so good but I’ll have to see how it holds up.


    12. I just started working on mylar. I love it. I am using very translucent oils with just a bit of linseed. I noticed that I am getting a slight “shadowing” effect (like a halo of oil yet it is not wet to the touch)) around the image. I wonder if this will go away when it dries. I am working this piece to submit to a show and worry it will not be archival. The shadowing effect does not really distract.


    13. That’s interesting Lisa. I haven’t noticed that effect you mention.

      What exactly do you mean by “translucent oils?” Are you referring to transparent pigments or paint that has more oil added? I doubt the “halo” will vanish after drying. I assume you’re painting isolated shapes? If all of the Mylar is covered in pigment there would likely be no halo, but that may not be what you want to do.

      Of the paint swatches shown above I should mention that the gouache has started to flake off on some colors, but not all – mostly the white. The other paints are still okay, including the oil.


      • Thanks for your reply. I meant less pigmented colors (ie; green gold vs say, mars red for example) that have more linseed. Actually it seems the problem is going away as the painted areas dry. So I think there was some oil absorption into the mylar directly around the painted area.Good to know you have not seen problems over time because I have my students playing around with this surface as well. Many thanks. Lisa


    14. I’ve recently painted some gouaches on mylar, while travelling in Europe.
      They made great stable little paintings that transported well with no flaking, and were packed flat in a cardboard backed sketchpad. re. your comment
      above about gouache flaking after a time, the gouache I used is in an acrylic
      base (label says acrylic gouache) and is sold at the art store at the school I teach at which has a huge animation program. It’s sold for the classical animators to work on cells which I believe are done on acetate, but for sure on some type of plastic film. Anyway, acrylic gouache adheres really well to mylar and handles just like traditional gouache. The brand is the Japanese brand Holbein, I believe. (It’s at the studio and I’m not – sorry.) Thanks for the tip on Golden gel as an adhesive.

      Megan


    15. Thanks, Megan. I’m not surprised with your success at using acrylic “gouache” on drafting film, since they are essentially acrylic paints, which adheres well to this surface. Genuine gouache needs something more absorbant like paper. There are several other brands on the market other than Holbein: Turner, Lascaux, etc.

      By the way, animation cels these days are also made of polyester, assuming you can find anyone still using them. Acetate was used also, but is less stable. Gouache was used early on since it could be washed off and the cel reused, but was later replaced by vinyl and acrylic paints.


    16. Try chromacolour paint on the drafting film -absolutely top class.


    17. Hi Dave!
      I’m very interested in your results – was just over at RP asking about this. I’d like a smoother surface than linen, but big – what’s your take on mounting the Herculene on large panels? Say, Gatorboard or one of the lightweight aluminum panels? Up to 4 x 8′?
      Thanks
      Lisa


    18. Hey, LG, thanks for stopping by.
      The adhesive winners so far are still Soft Gel or Double-Tack tape, but nothing yet holds extemely well. One test panel in oil that had the film glued with Soft gel to hardboard got some ripples and bubbles appearing as it came unglued in some spots, but another one was fine. Still due for testing is epoxy or high strength acrylic glue like BEVA.

      For a large panel I’d want either a slow drying glue or adhesive sheets. I don’t know if sheets are available in large sizes but it might be possible to seam pieces together without that showing through.

      In the case of oils, I wiped dried paint with solvent and was able to easily get all the way to the film – it sort of peeled off. I took a palette knife and was also able to scrape it off without too much effort. It might be better if the oil paint is several months old or if the film surface was acrylic primed.

      As another option you might want to consider is polyester fabric. It has the same features but the weave makes it more porous. Thin polyester muslin is very smooth and could be mounted to panel.


      • DB, I have used soft gels to adhere both paper velum and the mylar you are discussing and had no trouble with wrinkling. If the vellum is thin — really, what we used to call bumwade, a sketch in a roll — then it will pucker, as it has no weight. I have never used oils on top of the soft gel; I didn’t know you could use acrylics under oils at all. You’ve had no problems with this?


        • Acrylic mediums will shrink some as they dry, so I suspect that’s what caused the film to wrinkle some. It wasn’t all that thin as I recall. The real issue there, I believe, was the gel not adhering properly to the hardboard. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes not. Could be that it was uneven and dried too quickly in spots.
          To be clear, I wasn’t speaking about painting oils on the gel, but using the gel to adhere the film, and then painting on the film. Oils can be used to some degree on acrylics, although it’s an open issue as to how well that works in the long term. The main problem is that the acrylic polymers, as I understand it, aren’t that porous. Arcylic primer work with oils because the solids in it makes it porous. The only time I will use acrylics under oils is for a thin underpainting layer. I’m not that fond of acrylic primer.


    19. Hello,
      Do you have any updates on your experiments with the adhesion of mylar to wood? I’ve been using 3M spray adhesive for a double bond, but pieces of mylar have been coming off some weeks after the fact. Any new suggestions?
      Daniel


      • Hello Daniel. Still to date the best adhesives for me have been the acrylic Soft Gel or Double Tack sheets. The sheet is not as strong as the gel but goes down more easily. The only problem I’ve seen with the gel is some spots on a test piece have come unglued. Other pieces with gel are still very smooth and well adhered. I was able to pull them loose but it took some effort. I’ve yet to try a stronger glue like BEVA. I sent a query to Dupont for their recommendations, but haven’t heard back yet. When I do I’ll post it here or if anything else turns up.


        • Hello again,
          Have you tried any of the stronger 3M glues? I may try the spray adhesive 3M 90 (as opposed to the all-purpose 3M 77). Thanks for your prompt response.
          Best,
          Daniel


        • I received a reply today from a Dupont customer service rep. He didn’t give me a direct answer to what glue to use, but recommended I try adhesive companies directly, such as 3M. One thing he mentioned is that not all polyester drafting films are made matte in the same way (not surprising.) Dupont uses some sort of “filler” mixed internally, and others use some sort of coating. This may help to explain why different brands give different results when glued down, and behave differently between brands of film. Not a one-size-fits-all situation.

          A friend of mine who makes model airplanes says he has heard of a heat-activated glue called Balsarite or Balsaloc that model builders use to adhere Mylar to Balsa wood. Next time I’m near a hobby store I’ll look for some.


    20. Hi David

      So excited just started using Frosted Mylar – from Daniel Smith. My drawing are done in charcoal pencil with pan pastels.
      Do you find that when using a soft product as I just described that I need to spray it? I usually do this with charcoal on paper but I was not sure what to use on Mylar.
      In addition where do you buy your frosted mylar. The sheets I am using are only frosted on one side.

      Thanks

      Mary Jo


      • Hello, Mary Jo.
        I imagine a fixative spray would work just as well on film as it does on paper. Use whatever spray you like.
        I’ve found sheets of film by Graphix at a local hobby store. Artarama has them too, and I bought the Herculene sheets at Fineartstore.com


    21. If the mylar has to be mounted to something else, like MDF panel, or a gessoed panel, what is the cost savings?? Sounds like you are duplicating surfaces?

      It would seem to me that you would treat is just like a drawing/paper and mat under glass, thereby only needing to secure with archival double-stick mounting tape.


      • Mounting it like paper is an option, but some people may not want to use a mat around their painting, or even a frame, and just have it on the front of a cradled box. The film can also sometimes buckle under it’s own weight when vertical if it’s not glued flat.

        One advantage to polyester film is that it’s a permanently stable surface, unlike wood which reacts to the envirnoment. Although you might still be using wood as a support, you’re not painting on it. As such, it’s a good idea to make sure whatever adhesive you use is reverseable.


    22. Have you tried water-mixable oils on wet-media acetate?


      • I’ve avoided acetate since it is easy to tear, and the brands that I’ve seen say they are not acid free. I have tested water-miscible oils on polyester film, however, and they seem to behave no worse or better than regular oils.


    23. Have used drafting film for some time. I paint on it using chroma colour. I love it for coloured pencil drawings. Using pencil on the front and on the reverse gives good saturation. I often use it for mono prints. Draw on the drafting film with watersoluble pencils, dampen some paper and place it onto the drawing, transfering the drawing from the mylar onto the paper. I also use the film as a home made scraper board. I draw onto the mylar with either a waxy coloured pencil or Indian ink and scrape into it with a sharp blade. I can place any coloured ground that takes my fancy behind the drawings. How versatile is that?


    24. what do you suggest as a varnish or finish for oils on mylar? thanks!


      • I’d suggest any varnish that’s safe for oils would be fine. Turpentine or mineral spirits that may get on the film doesn’t appear to affect it in any way.


    25. For mounting the Mylar onto board or a frame. Would it work to treat it like canvas and wrap it around to the back and staple it down? Of course you’d have to leave a wide enough border around the painting and probably cut out the corners.
      You can sand mylar too, it’s very tough. I use it for stencilling and it survives a bath in really hot water, which I use to remove the acrylic paint clogging the stencil.


      • Once you cut into it it’s easy to tear, and I doubt you’d be able to get it very flat or tight to a frame. In that situation I’d just go with polyester canvas instead.


    26. Thank you very much for writing this, there is lots of good info here! My painting teacher told us that mylar doesn’t have enough tooth to hold an oil painting for a long time, because it will eventually flake off. I have not been able to find anything about the archival quality of mylar, but I do really enjoy painting on it in both acrylic and oil. Do you have any information?


      • There isn’t any testing that I know of, Hannah, of paints on drafting film. The companies that make them don’t really market it that way either, so that may tell you something. Long term results are uncertain as a result. In the same vein, it’s not right to say that oils WILL flake off. I would want to see proof of that as well. Flaking would be the result of crazing or cracks which is a flexibility problem. The films will be as stable if not more so than whatever they are attached to. They can bend, but unlike canvas or wood they don’t expand or contract. The remaining issue is paint adhesion, and as long as the oil begins in lean layers the adhesion should be good enough to last a long time. That’s the best I can tell you.


    27. I have a beautiful acrylic and pencil artwork on single matte mylar, approx 30 x 42….for three or more years I have been trying to figure out how I can hang it so that it retains the luminosity and translucency of the work. Does anyone here know of a safe adhesive to mount the mylar to a clear sheet of acrylic?

      Thanks,

      David


      • David, my recommendation in that situation would be to use polyester tape or adhesive mounting film, Grafix Double-Tack or something similar.


    28. Hello David,

      I looked through all of the comments on your website and didn’t find this question. I am an artist and an architect. I’ve been familiar with mylar drafting film for years and have also discovered it works great as a medium for just about any paint or ink media for art. Here’s my question.

      I recently started an indian ink drawing on a sheet of double-sided matte mylar. I used a little bit of water and a q-tip to try to erase a portion of the ink. As I did this, I was surprised at how easily the indian ink came off. I then wiped it clean with a dry cloth. As soon as it was dry, I skimmed over it with the back of my finger and found the spot to be a bit tacky. As I inspected it some more seeing it off the reflection of the light and then slipped a black sheet under it to see it even more clearly. The tooth or matte finish actually was gone, and the spot was more transparent (looked darker, over the black underneath). I was livid. I never experienced water actually dissolving the matte finish of a mylar sheet before. I’m at a loss as what to do with it now. Have you ever come across this? Is it a new type of manufacturer? Has the chemical make up of mylar drafting film changed?

      Another very odd thing about this was – that when I tried the same thing with the water on the reverse side it was fine! Did I use the wrong side or what?
      The story gets better – then I decided to use mineral spirits, something that I’ve used before without harm, but seeing what water did I can only imagine what spirits will do – but using the mineral spirits did not harm it or the ink at all! Only the water took off the film!

      One thing I did think may be a factor is that I’ve have heard of some films being bio-degradable (which at first thought sounds nice, but actually seems to defeat the purpose of the film). Do you think that could be the reason for this? Have you come across this before? What do you suggest?

      Thank you, Rob


      • For an official response, Rob, you’ll have to try and contact the company that makes the drafting film you’re using. Is it actually Dupont Mylar or another brand? I’ve never had the problem you describe. It’s hard for me to understand how water alone could affect the film. Maybe it’s the ink you’re using? India ink is also something that varies from company to company and some won’t wash off easily. The best thing I can offer is to try another brand of film. The Herculene film I have isn’t affected by water.


    29. Hi, first of all I want to say how pleased I am to find this blog post, it has provided a wealth of information. Thank you.

      Now my question- I am also a college student beginning to experiment with transparent surfaces as a paint ground. So far I have been using clear vinyl and wrapping it around a wood frame as you would canvas, but of course it’s very sensitive to ambient temperature. So, do you know of any clear products that are flexible enough to wrap and yet resistant to temp variations and archival? (Is that too much to ask for? lol)


      • It might be possible to gradually heat polyester or polypropylene film and mold it to a frame. I have seen archival boxes and bags made of this material that are recommended for storing archival papers and they have bent corners. That’s something I’ll have to put on my list of things to test out.


    30. To create a piece of collage art work, I tried to glue paper on the drafting film by using Golden Gel Mediums. But after it dried, the paper is not smooth any more. Do you have any tricks?
      Lots of thanks in advance
      Jenny


      • I’m guessing when you say it’s “not smooth anymore” that perhaps the paper is too thin and is wrinkling on you. What you might try in that case is to press it under some weight to keep it flat as it dries. If the film is thin it might wrinkle or pucker. The gel mediums can shrink some when they dry.


      • Jenny, it sounds like the problem you are having has to do with the paper expanding when it gets wet, and then wrinkling when it shrinks again. I know the artist Donato Giancola uses matte medium to mount strathmore paper to masonite, and has published an article on his technique on his website: http://www.donatoart.com/technique/mounting/mounting.html Although the materials are different, it might be worthwhile to experiment with his method and see if it gets you anywhere.

        Hope that helps!

        I just want to say that this is a really great thread! I’ve been doing all of my illustration work with charcoal and conte and wet brushes on mylar and then scanning them in and coloring them digitally. It’s really fun and turns out pretty cool.


    31. the good thing about oil paintings is that they last very long, they can even last for generations -;,


    32. Hi, I’ve recently started a project where I’m printing on opaque mylar with an architectural plotter. I was then wanted to paint on it (possibly on the back) with something that would be transparent with vibrant colors. I’m planning on creating a lightbox type structure behind it.

      So basically its a 3′x4.5′ drawing thats printed with black toner and I want to have transparent colors that are bright that will show well with lights behind them.


      • If you’re asking what type of paints to use, I’ve not tried a set up like what you’re proposing, but my suggestion would be to use acrylic or vinyl paint on 2-sided frosted film. You can print in reverse on the back and paint the other side. There are fluid acrylic paints or inks that are fairly transparent enough, but even regular acrylics aren’t all that opaque.


    33. Hi, I am happy to find this thread because I have been working on mylar for a while and just recently started worrying about it’s archival quality. However, i do have in my possesion an acrylic painting I did on mylar 20 years ago that looks in great shape.

      Another person mentioned wrinkling when using collage…yeah, i get that. The only paper I’ve found that doesn’t do this is washi or japanese papers, which I think are specially made so as not to wrinkle when wet. I collage onto the back of the mylar so the pattern is seen (muted) through the front. I will follow the link posted above for gluing techniques to avoid wrinkling…

      The other thing I do is draw on mylar with graphite. I work on both sides kind of simultaneously. one can erase over and over without damaging the film. i then fix it by carefully painting on acrylic medium, and sometimes add colour on the reverse side so the colour doesn’t obscure the drawing. I am still playing and experimenting with this technique. I also add collage to these pieces, but I have several I am happy with aside from the wrinkling (yes, caused by the paper).


      • Thanks for the comment, Paula.


    34. Hi there, Have you ever painted on Tyvek?


      • No. Never tried paint on Tyvek.


    35. On the topic of adhering Mylar to another surface, I’ve begun painting on transparent Mylar (sold under the brand name DuraLar) and so far I’ve had no problem with using 3M double-sided tape to affix the film to a wood frame. It seems to hold well enough, and I’m working at sizes around 40-48″. My question of durability will be how long the tape holds before breaking down (50 years? 20 years?) I guess I’ll find out someday!


    36. Entropy.

      It’s a sound approach to make the work so any future repair is not too cumbersome for the owner, and that your methods are as sound as possible.

      Some artwork has the faults obviously built in so the owner knows upfront what they’re getting themselves into. Others may be misleading. If anyone expects art to last forever without some maintenance they will be disappointed.

      That said, I think using the tape is a reasonable decision. If it does fail even in a relatively short period of time, it shouldn’t be too difficult to fix. As long as it doesn’t do it so often as to be a nuisance.


    37. Have you had any problems with oils, oil bars or oil paint sticks not drying on frosted mylar?


      • Drying of oil paint wasn’t really a problem. I seem to recall that it took a little longer than expected. Bars or sticks I haven’t tested.
        Looking at my test samples now the oil paint hasn’t flaked or wrinkled, but it’s still easy to scrape off. A varnish coat might help that problem. Strong solvents are a risk to the film, so any cleaning or removal of varnish in the future may be an issue.
        Acrylics seem to adhere better than oils when painted directly on frosted film, so an acrylic primer may be the best solution, or at least to start with a thin acrylic paint layer. That should also improve the drying rate. I’ve also tested a shellac primer which seems to hold well, but in that case I’d recommend mounting the film instead of having it loose; probably a good idea for oils anyway.


    38. Hi David—-I don’t know if anybody is paying attention to this thread anymore, but just in case—-Do you know if, after you have printed (inkjet) on mylar, you can then roll the artwork up and transport it without damaging the art? And then if you hang it unframed and unmounted, will it straighten itself out on the wall? I suppose you could weight it somehow at the bottom. But the important question is, can you roll and unroll (and roll it again) it without damage to the print? Any insights appreciated!


      • The film can be rolled but I wouldn’t do that too tightly, certainly you don’t want to fold or crease it. I doubt it would straighten out by itself, but you can mount it under a mat to press it flat.


    39. Thanks for the reply, David. I’ll try rolling it. For hanging, I have in mind a kind of simple poster hanger. http://www.posterhanger.com I want to avoid mats and real frames since that suggests more traditional work than mine currently is. Thanks again.


    40. Referring to the comment by Caitlin Rooney I am an architect using polyester drafting film because it is stable in all humidities. Sir, do you know a way of removing slight creases? Caused by bad packing I think. Maybe a warm clothes iron? The creases are like mild “work hardening” in some plastics. This is is not life threatening of course but as a golfing buddy said, a bit like finding your new Titleist Pro V1 golf ball has a cut on it just before you’re about to tee off at Augusta!


      • When frosted film is bent it makes a bright line along the crease and there’s no way to remove that I know of.


    41. this has been an eye opener of the finest kind. i am starting to use paint sticks (Shiva) on the Mylar. The painting i did was a wonderful tactile process leading to a painting i am satisfied with. that in itself is unusual.
      i have not thought about hanging it for gallery sale. i need to use the most economical means to do this yet i do only use archival materials. i want simple, very simple.
      could you help me with this?
      thanks in advance,
      linda b


      • I’m not the sort who would recommend a cheap method of presenting the work. The presentation is as important as what’s on the surface, so it’s always due the same consideration. Pricing on framing costs will vary as anything else, so it pays to shop around. A customary approach for oil stick media is to use a mat with glass/acrylic glazing.


    42. hi i am interested in mounting mylar to wood in a semi permanent fashion, in that i would like it to come off if and only if i take it off.any ideas? does the spray adhesives bing permanent?


      • sweetgeorgiapeaches- Try double-sided tape. There are different types of semi-permanent and removable tapes. I use a permanent double-sided tape to affix clear mylar to wood frames and it has worked very well so far.


        • You can also buy large double-sided adhesive sheets that work the same way. Their use might be an issue depending on you display the board since it’s possible to see them through the film. Spray glues would be another option. Epoxy glue would be stronger than an acrylic one. How long any of these will hold I can’t say, so “permanence” is uncertain.


        • also just to clarify when u say wood frames do u mean wood panels? and if not, is there no substrate at all behind the frame?


        • Instead of tape or glue, I use small map tacks to adhere the frosted mylar to foam core. I then from slightly beyond the tacks and I have never had a problem. I use the mylar for large drawings so I want the transparency and glue and tape are not an option for me.

          M. J.


    43. thank you dbclemons! i tried the spray mount ( 3M 90) as a test and it stuck pretty good, although i was still able to remove it (after 24 hours). the spray did leave a messy horrible residue on both sides so am thinking to try tape. if you would be so kind to recommend both a permanent and non permanent thinnest tape would be great. thanks for keeping this blogt alive!!!


      • I was the one who responded about using tapes, not dbclemons, just to clarify. I have built wood frames 2 ways, with canvas stretcher bars and with select pine 1×2 wood, not wood panels. I then place the clear mylar film across as if it was canvas, using the double-sided clear tape to affix it to the frames along the edges of the mylar. If you want thin tape I recommend Scotch brand Double Sided Preservation Tape… thin, clear, permanent, non-yellowing, low offgassing, acid-free. 3/4″ is width that I use. I haven’t used any non-permanent tapes, I just know they are out there, often labeled as ‘poster’ tapes.


    44. I often use drafting film as a ground for acrylics, graphite, ball point, coloured pencil…in fact there are very few mediums that drafting film will not accept. I was once drawing with pencil and brushed the surface with my left hand. I noticed a dark mark over the surface. My gold wedding ring had left this mark. I have since produced a number of silver and gold point drawings. The metal goes straight onto the film surface without having to coat the surface with a ground as is usual with all other surfaces I have tried.
      I mount the finished work on white self adhesive mounting board. And then frame it under glass.


    45. For people who are still reading and following this thread, please take a look at my recent series of posts where I’ve been experimenting with Dura-Lar Wet Media film. It covers many things that have been brought up here on what seems to be a superior surface for paint application. The posts start here:
      https://dbclemons.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/grafix-polyester-film-sample-sheets/


    46. Hi, I have been drawing on drafting film for nearly 10 years (graphite, charcoal, oil pastels) I have always framed the works, but with my current work I’d like to glue them to 3mm MDF as i would like the colour to show through , I feel that I should seal the MDF first with possibly shellac? Before I glue(possibly trying your idea of the gel medium). Would be interested in your thoughts on this. The works are small 20cmx12cm. Thanks in advance


      • The gel medium itself will seal the MDF, so you won’t need anything else. The gel likely wouldn’t adhere that well to shellac anyway. The gel might cause the thin MDF to curl unless you press it under some weight for a few hours while it dries. Be aware that the gel can sometimes cause an uneven spotting through the clear sheet that is noticeable with drawings, so you should test this out on a scrap piece first to see how it looks. Otherwise, I’d suggest a drymount using the Double-tack tape or something similar.


        • Thanks, I will test a few things out, the double sided tack I think we call Jac paper, but I will give it a go anyway and let you know. I’ve just done a test using Micador spray adhesive and it seems ok but of course I will leave it for a week or so to see if there’s any lifting. One thing I did notice was to be careful not to get any spray on the face of the film, it doesn’t seem to dry and thus collects dirt! Thanks again.


    47. Thank you for this very informative thread!!
      I’m in a fine arts graduate program and I’m having fun using powdered graphite in a Neo Neglip or other oil-based gel mediums on frosted mylar. I love being able to use retractive techniques while the paint is still wet. I also use odorless mineral spirits to thin the paint. I’m relieved to see that the mineral spirits doesn’t seem to hurt the mylar (the person at the art supply store said to use mineral spirits sparingly because it will continue to attack the mylar)


      • Sparingly sounds like reasonable advice to me. While I didn’t notice any affect from the spirits on the film I didn’t repeat that process several times over the same area. I wouldn’t be surprised if doing so would eventually weaken the film. However, even the use of more aggressive solvents didn’t show any sign of damage either. Your mix of mediums sounds interesting. Keep up the fun!


    48. Mylar film is very versatile, We print onto it and then pressure seal the film onto acrylic tiles. We have to add a coating onto Mylar so it will accept inkjet printing.


    49. hi very interested in trying this paper. do you know where i can get a sample or buy 1 sheet. i don’t want to buy a whole pack until i can see a sample of the paper to make sure it will work for my project. thank you.


      • I don’t know from experience where you could get samples. You might try looking for an email to the company customer service, and ask for some. They’re usually good about that.


    50. I have been wanting to work with mylar for some time. This page and comment thread has been very helpful. I have been trying to figure out different ways you can mount mylar to a panel. Besides using gel medium, have you tried or know of using resin to mount and layer mylar drawings on a panel?


      • I have no input for you on resin adhesives for films, Lauren, sorry. Some questions for it would be how long-lasting would it be, or how easy to replace when it fails, and if you have any clear areas of the film exposed, would the adhesive change color or be adversely affected by light.



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