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Undoing a foamboard mount

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by DVieau2, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Customer has a small (11x17) watercolor on thin paper that a decade ago was mounted on foamboard.

    It looks like a spray mount but I'm not sure. It's starting to bubble up and the foam core is turning yellow.

    I declined and suggest a conservator but the customer doesn't have any for that effort.

    Has anyone ever just peeled away the back part of a foamboard mount? Any other suggestions?
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  2. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Just say no. It's catastrophic in so many ways...thin paper, spray mounted, bubbling... Only a trained paper conservator should tackle this one.

    If you just peel away the back part of the foamboard mount how will that solve the bubbling issue? I take it you'd remove the back paper and somehow dislodge the foam from the front paper facing, but even if you could do that the WC would still be bubbling.
    Aiden likes this.
  3. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm voting to tell the customer that a conservator is the only route. You could spend hours getting nowhere. If the customer says no, tell him/her to do it themselves.
    artfolio likes this.
  4. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've already said no. Customer is going to try themselves.
    How would a conservator do it?
  5. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Here's one type of backing removal. I'll bet they avoid water.

  6. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    If the customer painted it, or if they're able to get permission from the artist, perhaps it could be scanned, photo-edited and printed?
    Jim Miller likes this.
  7. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Separating the face paper of the fome cor from the foam centre would be simple enough for anyone with a steady hand and a lot of patience. Separating the face paper from the artwork is probably a disaster waiting to happen for anyone other than a trained conservator.

    Spray glue is particularly nasty because it looks temptingly easy. The bond may be weak in places hence the bubbling and the artwork may well peel away easily but then, suddenly, you come to a bit which is stuck really well and your brittle artwork goes RRRIIIPPP!!! (If it is on thin paper stuck to yellowing fome-cor paper it probably is brittle)

    If anyone is going to learn that lesson the hard way don't let it be you.
  8. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    If it is indeed a spray adhesive I would suggest gentle heating with a blow drier. Start in one corner and see if the piece will lift off. The discoloration will probably remain, and it will require solvents to remove any residue. All better done by a pro.
    Regardless of what the customer does, the idea to scan the piece so they have a digital file as backup is a good one.
  9. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would reiterate all previous warnings. :D

    I think a conservator would struggle. The second the first drop of spray-glue hit the back the thing was DOOMED.

    I would offer the owner a few $$s for it. Then, the next time someone mentions Spraymount get it out and shove it
    under their nose. :p
    artfolio likes this.
  10. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    My final suggestion was to leave it as. It really isn't bubbled all that much and it really doesn't have enough value to pay a lot for proper conservation.

    I made a couple of points.
    A.) Enjoy as is. it's a nice vintage print.
    B.) With time the mount may bubble up more and dry out making a conservation effort easier down the road.
    C.) Double mat, Rice paper on the outside, CC glass and a bamboo looking frame. (her choice not mine)

    Hey It a sale :)
  11. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    By putting it into the dry mount press and putting it under pressure with the heat to 140 degrees for about 5 minutes may have re-activated the spray on glue. I have tried it on several pieces and it works fine as long as it is a spray on glue. The old animal glue doesn't re-activate.
    Grey Owl likes this.
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