How do I mount a wrinkled print?
February 4, 2009 4:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I mount somewhat wrinkled prints for framing? Or alternately, how can I smooth out a wrinkled screenprint before framing – would a water bath be a horrible idea?

I have an assortment of large prints I've purchased at odd sizes. Most of them have come in mailing tubes and have a curl to them.

I am also a cheapskate when it comes to custom framing. Lately I've taken to purchasing assemble-it-yourself frames at custom lengths from an online store. Upon trying to frame the prints, they all appear buckled and do not sit flat under the mat like I want. The plexiglass does press firmly against the mat by way of some springy clips, so that's not the problem... it's more the print against the mat window and foamcore.

So, am I missing a crucial mounting step? Is there an archival spray adhesive that I should be using to affix the print to the foamcore?

Furthermore, the one print I like the best is the most wrinkled of the lot. It is a screenprint on recycled 100# cover. Would it be ill-advised to give it a water bath in the hopes of evening out the ripples, and then reframing after it has dried?
posted by allisonrae to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
YES a water bath is a horrible idea!!! That doesn't fix wrinkles in paper, it causes them!

But you can iron the wrinkled paper... on a low setting, on a flat surface, and with a piece of cloth between the iron and the paper. You can mist the cloth a little and use the steam from that to help smooth out the paper.

For the large posters with just some curl to them, if you store them flat for a while with weights on the ends, they'll flatten out again on their own no problem.
posted by lizbunny at 4:21 PM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Could you put them back into the mailing tubes, rolled in the opposite direction?
I don't think it would take very long to flatten them out, just keep taking them out and checking every so often so you don't end up with them curled the other way.

Alternatively, you could try ironing them. Put a handkerchief over it, and start off at the lowest heat. I've not done this myself though, so I'd recommend testing it out on a small area of your least favourite one first.
posted by lucidium at 4:24 PM on February 4, 2009

Flatten with weights, then use framing tape.
posted by rhizome at 5:15 PM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Instructions for Flattening a Rolled Print here. I use this method quite often, on photographs. The setup for the "Humidification Chamber" is really simple--just a large garbage can with a tight fitting lid and then a smaller one to fit inside it.

I'd only use this for the really stubborn, wrinkled ones. The ones that are just curly, I'd use the method lucidium suggested; putting them back in the tube for a time rolled the other way.
posted by Mimzy at 7:10 PM on February 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'll give some of these things a try, particularly the humidification chamber for the really ripply one. No water bath for me!
posted by allisonrae at 5:28 PM on February 5, 2009

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