Matting a picture frame in 5 simple steps

Framing a photo with a mat puts a clear focus on the image. In combination with the right frame, you can create a real eye-catcher with your photo or artwork. In some cases, using a mat is not a question of aesthetics but pure necessity because the glass cannot get in direct contact with the art. This is for example true for pastel or charcoal drawings. If you were to frame such art pieces without a mat, the glass could cause damage to them. Using a thick cardboard mat separates the artwork and the glass. An additional advantage is that a mat regulates the moisture with the framing by absorbing it and this protecting the art piece.

Which tape to use?

To fix an art piece correctly behind the mat, you can use self-adhesive tapes. These tapes make sure that the picture stays neatly put behind the mat. The choice of tape depends on the artwork or photo to be framed. The weight and material of the piece determine which tape is suited best.

Regardless of which tape you choose, it is good to know that the following tapes have all passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAS) according to ISO 18916. They are, therefore, safe to use in combination with your artwork and photos, and will not negatively affect them over time.

Filmoplast P

Filmoplast P is used to mount art prints and reproductions of very thin paper to a matt. The practical dispenser packaging, featuring a cutting knife, makes it very easy to handle. The adhesive does not need to be moistened. With its calcium carbonate-buffered adhesive, Filmoplast P offers a slightly alkaline environment, which provides excellent absorption of the acids released from the paper and thus prevents damage. Thanks to its very thin carrier material, Filmoplast P is almost invisible after application. The thin and transparent paper is best suited for smaller pieces of art.

Filmoplast P90

Filmoplast P90 is made of tear-resistant special paper and is therefore used to fix heavier artworks (art prints, reproductions or originals) to a mat. There is no need to moisten the adhesive. Just like Filmoplast P, Filmoplast P90 is not only acid-free, but also slightly alkaline to adapt to the aging process of paper.

Filmoplast P90 plus

Thanks to its extra adhesive strength and strong tear-resistant, Filmoplast P90 plus is excellent for attaching heavier images, photos and prints to a mat or backing board and is also suited for dust-free sealing of backing boards. Just like its predecessors, Filmoplast P90 plus is acid-free, white and tear-resistant.

Matting a picture frame in 5 simple steps

Now that the choice of tape has been made, the mounting of the image behind the mat can begin.

  1. Apply the Filmoplast tape approx 2.5cm away from the edge and with 0.5cm overlapping the top edge of the artwork or photo to be mounted.  This is done on both the top left and top right edge.
  2. Turn the medium so that the adhesive side of the tape points upwards.
  3. Place the medium in the middle onto the backing board behind the window of the mat and press firmly.
  4. Open the mat again and secure it with another strip of Filmoplast P, P90 or P90 plus over the existing strip on the backing board.  This will create a so-called T-hinge.
  5. Press the two T-hinges firmly.  The image is now attached behind the mat.

Matting a picture in 5 simple steps

Matting a picture in 5 simple steps - close up

Applying the mat on the backing board

Filmoplast SH is used to create the so-called "hinge.  The hinge refers to the connection of the backing board and the mat, which is created by a particularly flexible and elastic tape.  Filmoplast SH is made of a textile fabric and, therefore, very tear-resistant.   Additionally, it is acid- free and environmentally friendly because it is biodegradable. The coated adhesive is free of solvents, acids and phthalates and is resistant to ageing, does not yellow and is permanently elastic.

  1. Place the mat's top edge against the top edge of the backing board. Leave a gap of approx. 1 mm between the mat and the backing board.
  2. Attach the two materials to the opening with a strip of Filmoplast SH or Filmoplast P 90 plus to create the hinge. Note: the adhesive strip should be approx. 4 cm shorter than the mat.

For light to medium weight materials, we recommend the use of Filmoplast P 90 plus. For particularly heavy and thick materials (e.g. a double mat), we recommend Filmoplast SH.

Sealing the frame with Filmoplast T

As a finishing touch, Filmoplast T is used for dust-proof sealing on the back of the frame, protecting the artwork from dirt and dust.

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