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Mounting raw-edged paintings - a tutorial

Anti-Doesn't Matter
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Original and prints for sale

There's a special way that I mount acrylic paintings when they're painted on paper and have interesting raw edges I want to show off rather than hide.  Framing is time-consuming because of the number of times you have to let things dry, so I like to frame many pieces at the same time.  I bought Dick Blick's super-value cradled wood panels.  I can get packages of 5 panels, 9x12", 3/4" thick for around $25 each pack.  The additional materials I needed are as follows:

Flat surface with a drop cloth or paper
Ruler and pencil
Small paper cups
Waxed or parchment paper 
Foam roller or brush
1" paint brush
Carbon black acrylic paint
Krylon acrylic spray
Gloss medium
Gloss varnish
Matte varnish (or Satin, if you prefer)

1. Paint the sides and the edges of the clean wood panel with black acrylic paint.  Allow to dry completely.  Use your ruler and pencil to make very small dots where each corner of your painting will go.

2. If your painting hasn't already been sprayed with clear acrylic spray, do that now and let it dry.  Use a foam roller or brush to coat both the back of the painting and the surface of the wood panel (inside the lines where the painting will sit) with thin layers of gloss medium.  Place the painting carefully and brayer it down from the middle outward, being careful not to let the painting slip.  Place it on waxed paper on a super-flat surface and weight it down to dry overnight.


3. Place your painting up on several small paper cups and begin to apply the varnish with a 1" brush.  Begin with the gloss varnish and apply 3 thin coats, letting each dry completely.  Make sure you get the sides too.  I like a total of 5 coats, and even though I want these pieces to be finished matte, I still start with gloss varnish.  Too many layers of matte or satin varnish begin to look cloudy, whereas gloss varnish always stays nice and clear.  Also, matte varnish can sometimes dull the colors if it applied directly to the painting. 

4. Here the piece has 3 coats of gloss varnish, the current coat not completely dry yet.  Once it is dry, I will finish with 2 coats of matte varnish, letting each dry.  No more than 2 coats of either matte or satin on top of the base of 3 coats of gloss varnish!  I know, I'm repeating myself, but this is important!!

Here is a complete list of all the pieces in this series.  Originals and prints are available at this link:
Sacred Geometry
Charmed Particles
Anti-Doesn't Matter
Do Magnets Dream of Electron Pairs?
Gravity Waves a Fond Farewell
(Really) Tiny Bubbles
Strange(er) in the Night
Particle Shower Do-Si-Dos
Just Passing Through
Neutrino Dreams

A tutorial for the basic techniques used in these paintings is at the link.

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.