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Mounting a canvas painting?

njw1224

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
So had a customer come in today with an original oil painting, rather old, on canvas, rolled up. It had been cut off the original stretcher frame, so there is no extra canvas at the edges for stretching on a new frame. The painting now runs right to the edge, and she doesn't want to lose any more of the image by restretching. She wants to frame without glass. It's large enough (about 24x32) that it'll need support. About the only method I can think of is to dry mount it (on Mountcor Canvas?). That way you don't lose any edge detail (except what's under the lip of the frame), and it's well-supported. I explained to the client that we never want to permanently mount original art, but given the circumstances, I couldn't really see another option. She's fine with mounting it. It cost her a few hundred dollars, but she's older and doesn't care about resale value. But are there any options I'm missing here for supporting a canvas, not under glass, that can't be stretched?
 
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njw1224

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Have you ever tried Beva lining a canvas?
I have not. I did know that, as a conservation practice, canvases could be mounted to linen or another base material. I assumed this would be a step the client wouldn't want to invest in, although I'll admit I don't the costs involved. She bought the painting for $400 mainly for decor value. She didn't know the artist, knew no history of the piece, etc. It was a bit of an impulse buy. But I will look into Beva lining, especially if it's a process small frame shops can do in-house. I always figured such steps were more the work of a conservator. Thanks!
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You could sew a canvas border onto the existing canvas. I'm for the MountCor if the painting isn't of high value, $400.00 is not a high value, and if the customer is ok with it. Get a sign-off and mount it per her wishes.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The 'right' way to do it is the adhere the painting to a new piece of canvas that is bigger. This is mostly used on
paintings where the original canvas has deteriorated. Part of a restoration process. Specialist job.

If it's not a work of importance and just a run-of-the mill potboiler ten sticking it down is acceptable if cost is an issue.
I would bond it to a stout board or a thin board reinforced with wood battens. MDF is good(ish) stuff. But one drawback
if you mount to a thick piece is that it can (will) bend. Sealing the back of the board will help, but once it's bowed there is
no flattening it.
 

Mike Drury

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
You certainly could "strip Line" with canvas. You need to be careful if you apply heat to the painting to mount it to Mount Core. My go to for this situation is cold mount using Lascaux 360 or similar "wet" adhesive. Mike
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Also if you mount it you can over mount it with about 3/8" border so little to none of the painting's image is lost under the rabbet.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You need to be careful if you apply heat to the painting to mount it to Mount Core.
That isn't much of an issue at 130 degrees for 3 minutes. I have done it many times even with built up oils and have never had an issue but my press is accurate to a degree and my timer is also accurate. With that said Absolutely don't adhere any valuable piece of art by drymounting or any other means, let the professional conservators do that.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
... an original oil painting, rather old, on canvas, rolled up...no extra canvas at the edges for stretching...
Lining or strip-lining probably would be best, and it can be done in any shop. Rob Markoff has an excellent class on this technique, so he is the go-to guy for instructions.

If the canvas is old and rolled, it is likely that the bond between the paint and the canvas has weakened. If there's any evidence of cupping, then the pressure of dry mounting - never mind the heat - could severely damage the painting.

... are there any options I'm missing here for supporting a canvas, not under glass, that can't be stretched?
If the painting has no surface texture, you probably could use an acrylic DCO. That would give it support, keep it flat, perhaps compensate for weakened paint layers, and show the image edge-to-edge. The glazing would also provide good protection from ambient conditions such as light and expansion/contraction cycles.

Ordinary acrylic and the necessary batting for a DCO might cost less than strip-lining and stretching. Optium is pricey, but almost invisible.
 
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