How do I mount artwork to a piece of wood?
Here are the steps we’d recommend following:
STEP 1: Seal the wood
First, the wood should be sealed. Sealing the wood helps the glue go on smoothly and prevents it from sinking in. It also prevents the acidity of the wood from leeching into the paper that is glued on. There are several ways the wood can be sealed:
PVA Size: Gamblin makes a PVA Size (polyvinyl acetate) which can be thinned down with water to the proper consistency to seal canvas, fabric and wood. Cover the wood with a mixture of PVA Size solution and water. Let dry.
Acrylic Polymer: An acrylic polymer can be applied to the surface of the wood to seal it. Golden makes an Acrylic Polymer Sealer (GAC 100) specifically for sealing canvas, fabric and wood. This sealer prevents the acidity of the wood or substrate from traveling into the paper and causing discoloration of the paper or artwork, known as Support Induced Discoloration (SID). Cover the wood with a layer of the Acrylic Polymer and let dry.
STEP 2: Glue the paper to the wood
Make sure to use a pH neutral or acid free glue, such as PVA glue. Use a firm roller (paint roller) to roll the glue onto the surface of the sealed wood. Next, adhere the paper to the wood surface, and cover the artwork/wood piece with a clean sheet of paper as a protective barrier. Using your palm, press firmly over the entire surface to remove any air pockets. Place a wood board larger than the glued surface on top. Place weights (books work) on top and let sit for 48 hours. When you remove the board and weight, check to see if the paper is completely dry. If it feels cold or clammy, place it back under the weight until dry. The moisture of the glue could cause the protective sheet to wrinkle under the board.
Periodically check the interleaf paper during the 2 day drying process and replace it with a new sheet if it is wrinkled. If it is not replaced, there is a risk that the wrinkling of the interleaf paper could create a pattern in the glued paper.
STEP 3: Seal the Drawing (this step can be done before Step Two)
To seal your artwork, use a varnish or spray sealer. We especially recommend a spray sealer versus a sealer that needs to be brushed on for graphite drawings as there is a risk of smearing the graphite. Many companies make protective spray sealers and fixatives, such as Lascaux Fixative and Protectant. Look for something that is safe to use on the medium that was used for the artwork. The best way to apply any sealer or varnish is by applying several thin coats in different directions, waiting for them to dry in-between coats. This assures an even application. Always wear a dual filter spray mask when spraying.
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