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Replacing a Picture Frame Backing

June 19, 2017

It’s a easy thing, I suppose, to not give much consideration to the back of a picture frame. After all, it will be against the wall where no one will notice. However, your customer is buying the whole object, so it’s important to give proper attention to the all of it.

This painting, “Party at the Lake,” is casein on illustration board, floating on a sheet of mat board. Behind that is a sheet of cardboard. Originally, it had paper taped to the back by a professional framer I had hired for the job. It was acceptable at the time, but unfortunately the deep sides (2″) made it too easy for the paper to get poked and torn, so it needed to be replaced. I tore off all the old paper, and considered using mat board, but there wasn’t enough wood along the edge to hold it down with just tape, and glue would make it harder to replace later, should someone need to do that. Therefore, I decided to fill the whole back with a more stable support of foamcore.

I built a crossing grid out of strips of foamcore that were about 1/8″ shorter than the frame, so a sheet of foamcore would sit flush with the wood. I cut slots in the strips halfway through so they would assemble even with each other. I then glued a sheet of foamcore to this grid. The back is now nice and solid, but lightweight. The last step will be to paint the exposed wood black, and restring the wire.

By the way, I’m dusting off a few older pieces of art along with some new ones for a large show I’ll be having next month, paintings and drawings. Details to come.

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