How to Frame Acrylic Painting on Paper
Acrylic painting is a general term for paintings made with acrylate, one of the most widely used media in commercial and fine art painting. Acrylic paint is water-soluble, and its use had become popular since the 1950s when it was introduced to children as a medium easier than oil paints.
It soon became popular among artists who wanted to create paintings faster because acrylic paint dries quickly, allowing immediate handling while retaining excellent permanence. In this article, I will discuss how to frame acrylic painting on paper. So let us get started.
A Detailed Stepwise Guide on How to Frame Acrylic Painting on Paper:
Cut out a piece of newspaper or scrap paper slightly larger than the size of your finished work.
Spray a thin coating of fixative to both sides of your completed work and allow it to dry for about 15 minutes to an hour. Please do not skip this step as it might cause curling/warping in your completed work!
It is best if you could place your painted piece on a flat surface covered with cling foil. If the painting is stained, pour some milk over it and rub lightly as soon as possible as milk also acts as a fixative for acrylic paints.
Please note that there are other means for washing away stains from acrylic paintings, but I have no idea what those methods are, so don’t mind me if I have not mentioned them here.
Using a pair of scissors, cut out the center of your newspaper sheet so that it’s just a bit smaller than your painting. If you can use a paper cutter for this step, lay the painted piece on top and mark the actual image’s area. You could then cut out along that line to get a perfectly shaped hole in your newspaper sheet for your work which will prevent curling/warping later on.
Fill up an acrylic color with water and add some soap or detergent into it (e.g., Palmolive dishwashing soap). Dip one end of the sponge brush into this mixture and use it to spread the soap mixture over the entire painted surface (except around the edge where you will apply glue). Be careful not to move your work too much while painting with that end of the brush.
Use this same brush to spread a generous coat of PVA glue across all parts of your work except for around its edges. Try to cover as much area as possible when applying PVA so that any small gaps in coverage can be filled when stacking your work on top of others, thus preventing curling/warping later on.
Let it dry for about 15 minutes before proceeding with further steps! It is best to hold down your completed work during this time because putting pressure on wet PVA yields a much stronger bond. If you really can’t hold it down, use a heavy object so that the work stays in place and let it dry overnight instead!
Once dried, cut out a piece of thick cardboard, so its dimension is slightly larger than your work. Punch a hole through the middle of this cardboard using a pencil/punch tool, then apply glue all over its surface before placing your painting on top, especially around its edges which will prevent curling/warping later on.
Press down for about 5 minutes to allow drying time before stacking another piece of work on top with the glued one. Put some paper between each worksheet if you intend to stack more than 2 or 3 pieces of paintings on top of each other because the excess glue can dry out and cause problems when you try to separate layers of worksheets.
Arrange all your paintings that have been stacked together slowly on top of a flat surface with some buffer between them before finally gluing down the bottom one to prevent curling/warping later on. Once done, cut off any excess paper around the edges, so you get a nice clean border for easy framing!
If you think transporting your work will cause it to be creased or have paint scruffs rubbed off, then suggest using specially designed sheets that you could purchase from art stores for this purpose. So far, I haven’t found such items available in the market though, so here’s a method to make your own instead:
Layer up about four thin sheets of tissue paper (you can use more sheets if you like – the thicker the layer is, the better protection it’ll provide), place your work on top and wrap around/wrap up your work before finally securing them with tape or glue. This will help prevent curling/warping and protect your worksheet from potential damage!
You might need to apply some pressure when stacking multiple acrylic pieces together because PVA may not always dry out completely (especially in humid weather). If this is the case, I suggest you place some paper/tissue between each worksheet, then leave it lying down overnight to let PVA properly dry before stacking them up together.
Precautions While Framing Acrylic Painting on Paper:
1. Only the color of the paper and cake on the surface of the painting should be similar to those of the frame and mat on which it is mounted. Or else, it would make a terrible impression on others. However, if you really want them to match, both can be colored using acrylic or poster colors (for paper) and oil paints (for wood).
2. While framing such paintings, try not to use dark-colored boards as they tend to bring out an unbecoming contrast between them and lighter backgrounds. So, one should always use white or ivory-colored boards for such paintings.
3. One should never forget that light and moisture adversely affect acrylic paintings on paper. When mounting such paintings with mats and boards, especially when a dark background is used for mounting, it tends to absorb the moisture in the painting and, in turn, makes its surface blotchy. If you do not want this to happen, then you should always use a convex glass over the mounted picture.
4. If you are going to frame your painting with double matting, then there would be three layers of glass or plastic between your painting and yourself. Since light passes through these thin sheets only partially, it becomes necessary that you take care regarding its intensity before making up your mind about using them for framing purposes.
5. In the case of paintings framed from behind using back-mounted materials, there is a tendency to get loosened from their original position or come off suddenly. And in case they happen to fall, the damage done may not only be irreparable, but it might also ruin your paintings.
You can easily avoid this problem by using screws or nails for mounting them on the boards instead of using readymade clips available in the market for mounting purposes.
6. Since most paints are solvent-based and contain harmful acids, you should always use mats made from archival acid-free materials when framing acrylic paintings on paper.
I hope this article has offered you all the necessary information regarding how to frame acrylic painting on paper. You should go through the process properly before commencing the work. Moreover, the steps precautions included in the process should also be followed properly. Thank you for reading this article, have a nice day!