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Best tape or method to keep dust cover on back of Gallery Wrapped Canvas

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by ccoppola, May 3, 2014.

  1. ccoppola

    ccoppola Guest

    I mainly do Gallery Wrapped Canvas for my clients and I keep having the same issue with my dust covers releasing from the tape in spots.

    I am currently using Scotch 3m ATG 908 Acid Free 1/2" tape with black kraft paper or tyvek.

    I apply the tape very well and use a roller and my fingers to make sure its stuck to the back of the canvas and then again once I put my black kraft paper(dust cover) over the tape.

    When it leaves my shop it is on perfect but over time, it will release in spots.

    What can I be doing different to keep that on so it wont release over time?

    Thank you in advance..C
    card happy likes this.
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  2. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    A dust cover on canvas will keep dust out, but won't protect the canvas from puncture from behind. You might try using a piece of inexpensive 4-ply mat board, which you can staple to the back.

    echavez123 likes this.
  3. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I like the idea of paper mat backing. Not too expensive, protects the canvas. Have a couple of colors for a little flexibility. I'm not generally too crazy about stapling, as the proper way would be screws and cup washers, but if these are unlikely to appear on the Antiques Road Show, stapling should suffice....
  4. ccoppola

    ccoppola Guest

    I too am not a big fan of stapling a mat board. I don't think it looks as clean.

    Do I just need to use a stronger tape??? If so what is the best tape to use??
  5. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    You might try fillet tape, but if you are in an area of the world where humidity is a concern, I don't think that tape is the answer. I have had bad luck with Tyvek, and paper dust covers with no support underneath are usually quickly punctured. I prefer a solid cover and use corrugated polypropylene (AKA Poluflute , Coroplast), screwed to the back with cup washers as mentioned by Ellen. I have used mat board panels but find they are too reactive to climate changes to be practical in Florida.
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
    Dave likes this.
  6. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't know how aggressive the adhesive is on Acid Free ATG but the product serves no purpose in framing. No type of ATG should ever come in contact with artwork so regular ATG will most likely give you better hold. Have you tried 987, 924 or 969 to see if it is stronger.

    Acid Free ATG is just a gimmick to convince you to pay extra for a product that serves no purpose.
    Joe B and prospero like this.
  7. Artistic Framer

    Artistic Framer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    A number of framers use PVA or Franks Fabric glue (among others) to attach the backing paper. Run a bead around the edge, put paper on back (or flip it onto the paper, let dry and trim. I've tried it but don't use it...but with this method, the paper will be stuck for a long, long time.
  8. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I would simply burnish the paper down to the atg, that should solve the issue.
  9. monkey

    monkey CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    The Acid Free ATG tape is weaker. Use the 3M 924 regular ATG tape and burnish it on. It's also cheaper than the Acid Free.
  10. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    [SUP]I imagine that part of the problem is that you are applying this over an irregular surface, with the staples and the wrapped layer of canvas at the corners. [/SUP]
  11. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Try apply ATG to paper, not to back of canvas.
  12. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Cup washers and screws to hold mat board or fome core to back of gallery wrap. The 'canvas' is it canvas or the stuff that is used to print giclees on to? Canvas might grab onto atg on a good day and if lucky might hold long enough for customer to hang it but the giclee definitely won't even last that long. I like the protection of fome cre or coroplast especially for big pieces.
  13. DesignsInk

    DesignsInk CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I go with the solid board, screws and washers. A canvas, even a gallery wrap, should be backed with a rigid board not paper. Cheap mat, foam, poly...whatever, but a canvas is a canvas and should be finished that way. In my humble opinion so I agree with Ellen and the others. I also hate the look of staples.
    Chris Paschke
  14. DS

    DS CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    What size cup washers for 16" x 20"?
    Thanks, dan
  15. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I use double sided 3M-969 ATG tape and mat board. I burnish the mat board down, it will not ever come up even in humid areas. 969 is a pain to start on the applicator - you will more than say a couple nasties, under your breath of course :rolleyes:, but once you get it on I believe you will be happy with it. If it comes loose with 969 it wasn't meant to be installed - that tape is very aggressive and is really nasty to remove if you ever have to so don't get it on the art.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  16. DS

    DS CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Thanks for the info.
  17. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I wouldn't bother. It's a cosmetic exercise and once on the wall who's going to look at the back. It's not going to
    exactly look bad in it's naked state anyway. Lack of a cover is not going to affect the integrity. It might protect the back
    but the front is still vulnerable to dings. Dust? In 50 years it may have accumulated a bit but 2 mins with vac.......
    Dust itself is not damaging to the canvas.

    But if I had to do it, I wouldn't use tape/glue of any description. Pressure sensitive tape will fail in a short time. Any other
    adhesive that is permanent would not be reversible and my philosophy is never do anything that you can't undo.
    Fixing matboard to the stretchers using screws with cup-washers would be my choice. OK, you are making holes in the thing
    but that's an acceptable bit of 'mutilation' in my view. Better than slathering it up with glue at any rate.

    ** And then there's the contentious point of letting the canvas 'breathe'. I know canvases have no respiratory system but free
    air circulation on both sides is desirable. :D
    tedh likes this.
  18. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Jim Miller likes this.
  19. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

  20. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Still very easy to install, and who doesn't have Coroplast lying around?
  21. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Anything that is visible from the sides of a gallery wrap belies the point of doing a gallery wrap. It's am unnecessary waste and if visible, just plain wrong.
  22. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    We don't back our gallery wraps. Only do several a year, and not saying this is how it should be done. But we just leave them as they are.
    Gilder and prospero like this.
  23. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I have switched from polyflute board to .06" thick PETG. I buy it by the sheet (48" X 96") from a local plastics supplier. It is transparent, so inspection of the back of the canvas can be done without removing it, it cuts easily, and can be drilled and countersunk. It is also quite malleable and has other uses around the shop. It is fairly puncture resistant. Advantages over polyflute are there are no flutes for dust and critters to take up residence, and it is considerably thinner than the typical 4mm polyflute used in backing.
    A conservator I talk with on occasion has stopped using any kind of solid backing on oils based on the damage occurring after the fact during cleanup from several hurricanes. The solid backings will hold humidity and the chances of mold growth are greatly increased. His suggestion for backing stretched canvases of any nature that are in a coastal environment is to staple fiberglass screening to the back. It provides a good physical barrier from impact, keeps out unwanted critters, and allows the RH to stabilize more naturally after high humidity occurrences.
  24. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sounds like a good solution.
    :cool: Rick
  25. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    While this might be advisable in tropical conditions, some conservation authorities (CCI for one) recommend glazing and solid backing.

    Here are a few benefits that would be lost without glazing and solid backing:
    1. Dampens vibration and impact, which could flex canvas and disturb the paint layers
    2. Slows the acclimation (rate of change) of temperature and humidity within the frame package
    3. Slows the rate of expansion & contraction
    4. Slows the incursion of airborne fumes and particulate contaminants

    If extreme humidity or soaking occurs - such as damage from a hurricane, flood, or fire-hose - the usual suggestion is to open the affected framing, repair & dry the contents, and reassemble with new framing components as may be needed. Regardless of the sort of backing used, leaving any wet frame to dry intact probably could invite further problems.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    wpfay, Joe B and shayla like this.
  26. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Jim, I have been using Optium and PETG barriers for a couple of my clients. Most borrowing museums and galleries are specifying this treatment. For those shops that have smaller local museums or collections that lend, this may be an opportunity for some business.
    Jim Miller likes this.
  27. MitchelC

    MitchelC MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Someone told me years ago: Fabric Adhesive
  28. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If an adhesive-attached backing is necessary, you could use acrylic gel, which is what I generally use on polystyrene frames. ATG won't stick to those, either.

    As an adhesive, acrylic gel takes time to dry before trimming, but you can paint it on, let it dry, and activate it using a tacking iron. Either way, it's cheap, readily available, water-soluble (and cleanup) while wet, and chemically-stable for a long-term bond.
  29. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Wally, I can see using acrylic as a rigid backing, but why would Optium be any better for this purpose? It's not like the reverse is going to be on continuous display. While certainly not problematic, it seems it seems a bit expensive for this purpose. Why do the museums specify it?
    :cool: Rick
  30. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't think museums are specifying Optium for the back. It would be a front "barrier". Consider the meaning of "and" in Wally's post.
  31. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Correct Pat. The art is being removed (oil/canvas) and the frames are being modified to accommodate the entire frame package so the PETG can be screwed to the back. This includes shims to keep the Optium from contacting the art.
    The Optium serves as a physical barrier in front of the art and the PETG behind.
    It is not a sealed frame, though with some minor changes it could be. That technology is proving to be less advantageous as time moves on.
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Rick, if the PETG sheet that Wally refers to is what I think it is, then you could say it is something like very thick Mylar.

    Vivak is a brand I've used several times for mounting purposes, because it has excellent clarity, cuts well, and in thin sheets, it can be formed/creased sharply, like Mylar. It's affordable, too.

    Are we both talking about the same stuff, Wally?
  33. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    OK, I thought Wally was saying sometimes he used one product for the back and sometimes the other.
    That Vivak sounds interesting. Never had experience with it. Can the thin version be cut on a standard wall cutter?
    :cool: Rick
  34. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes, the thin material cuts and creases easily on matcutter or wall cutter. I've cut a few patterns for clear plastic boxes using my CMC, too. Hugh Phibbs put me onto Vivak several years ago; it's one of the many innovative products he has brought to us.
    Rick Granick likes this.
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