Materials Needed

4 Backing Board & 5 Glass

In these two areas, the materials available become less of an issue, until you start to frame commercially and undertake larger and more demanding pieces, where specific products are requested.

4 Backing Board

The usual, standard board used is 2 mm, treated MDF board.  Make sure that you buy a treated board as, by its nature, MDF is a composite board made from wood fibres, which have a high acidity value.  Therefore high street, DIY shop boards will not be adequate - also you tend to find 3 mm is the finest board they can offer. 

Have a look at our sheet materials section of the store to see sizes and quantities available.  Other advantages of MDF backing board are that it is inexpensive, sturdy yet you can cut it down to size using a craft knife, avoiding making any sawdust.  Using a barrier board between MDF and the mounted artwork also means that it can be used in conservation framing projects.

Corri-Cor® Board. Launched in 1995 Corri-Cor® quickly became the market leader for framers wanting to get away from the traditional hardboard/MDF product.  It is light, rigid and easy to cut. It is produced with a slight bow for flatter artwork, and is manufactured at 2.35mm thick.  It is available in a range of qualities (4) budget through to "conservation Q".  You can therefore choose a standard of board for whatever type of project you are undertaking.


5 Glazing Products

Storing glass in large quantities is the way to save money because there are discounts for volume.  However, storage is also quite space consuming and opens up a raft of safety issues. 

For the vast majority of framing projects you will use 2 mm float glass, which is readily available, from local glaziers, in sheets for you to cut  down or cut exactly to the fit the frame  you have made.  It is a cheap material, relatively easy to work with and yet still looks stunning.  It does not offer any protection against UV light over time, but if work is placed away from direct sunlight, it is acceptable even as part of a conservation framing package.

The other basic option would be a perspex or acrylic panel (seen in the image on the right).  This product remains a good quality alternative to glass, particularly where health and safety issues might be a major consideration.  In addition it would keep the overall weight down of a framed piece as well as making it safer to transport.

The next step up is the non-reflective versions of both the glass and perspex panels.  Whilst approximately double the cost of the other version, it does provide an invisible barrier to viewing the artwork.  However it is important to remember  that it does not protect artwork from UV rays, and damage over time will be sustained if hung in direct light.  Another point to remember is that it does not provide the sheen of traditional glass.  Also, because the glass has been etched to achieve the anti-reflective quality, artwork that is mounted a distance away from the glass will appear to have a grey film across it.

After these products there are many specialist ones offering greater protection from UV light, combined with better viewing characteristics.  Prices increase accordingly.


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