Mounting Question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by smoke665, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm wanting to mount prints onto MDF. The question, can I seal the wood with an acrylic sealer and then mount the print with a photo safe adhesive? Or should I mount the print to backer board before mounting to MDF?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Mounting a print on anything using an adhesive will significantly diminish the life expectancy of the print.

    You would want to be aware of the acidity of the MDF you use, or the acidity of any sealer you apply to the MDF.

    The best mounting method to ensure the longevity of a print is to hinge mount a print in front of a pH neutral mount material that can be periodically replaced as the mount material absorbs contaminants from the atmosphere. that also allows the print to float as humidity fluctuates and the mount material expands and contracts.
    The front of the print should also be protected by glazing to protect the print as much as possible from UV light, the atmosphere, and humidity.

    Litmus pH Test Strips, Universal Application (pH 1-14), 2 Packs of 100 Strips
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  3. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I've used various non acidic adhesives over the years for mounting, both spray and sheet. May not be archival, but neither does it cause rapid degradation of the print.

    My main concern is between the MDF and the print. I'd hoped someone might have done this, and could share their experiences.
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I wonder why MDF? I mean; with all the options in the world to consider, why did you settle on MDF?

    In trying to think of a reason why I would do that, I can come up with a few, but they all gravitate toward an impermanent "rough handling" kind of use. Like, for instance; shooting targets in a windy place, so the targets would stay flat long enough to get shot at, and the MDF would be the thing that keeps them from blowing away. Like that. Or handing out photographs to a Den of Cub Scouts for their Father's Day craft project.

    So given that you're not going for museum-quality mounting anyway, why do you care about "photo-safe adhesive"? It seems to me that you can just use any spray adhesive and save a few bucks.
     
  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    MDF is a fine grain product that is a great base for paint, stain, varnish, etc. Once sealed it's very stable, unaffected by normal humidity, doesn't warp, and doesn't expand/contract like wood will. My concern was not with the degradation caused by the adhesive, (that was KmH's comment) as I've mounted prints with photo safe adhesive and never had a problem. I was questioning whether it would be easier to "glue" a photo that was already mounted to a backer board.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A lot of labs offer this as a service; I just had several done up for a client, and factoring in the cost of the material, time, etc... the price was very reasonable. IIRC Wal-mart used to do this.. not sure if they still do.
     
  7. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The one I use offers standouts also, 3/4" and 1 1/2" but they can get pricey. I can buy a 4'x8" sheet at the local big box hardware for less than the cost of one 8" x 10" mounted on a standout.
     
  8. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The only advantage I could see of using a backer board between the print and the MDF is that the backer board might absorb small imperfections in the surface of the MDF that might show through the print. Also, if you'e using it as a standout, the backer board might be visible from the side, depending on how you treat the final product.
     

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