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Dry Mounting



    A common method of mounting work for presentation is dry mounting. This frameless presentation is a very modern way of showcasing your artwork. You can have work dry mounted at a lab or do it yourself.

    Keep in mind that the work will be unprotected, so make sure to hang it away from direct light. Alternatively coating the work with UV-protective spray, which you can do yourself or at a frame shop, will make work archival and last a lifetime.


    Be sure to use acid-free materials that will not affect your artwork. For backing, make sure you use Gatorboard, not foamcore. Foamcore corners dent very quickly whereas Gatorboard is much more durable. Gatorboard comes in various sheet sizes up to 30"x40" and is either 1/4" and 1/2" thick.

    • Box cutter or industrial utility knife, depending on thickness of board.
    • Foamcore / Gatorboard hook, available at art supply stores


    • Gatorboard
    • Acid-free Photo Mount photo spray


    • Nucor board: Nucor is Gatorboard with a self-adhesive surface.


    Float Mount Using Nucor

    First make sure that the back of your artwork does not have any dirt or dust on it by cleaning it with your blower.

    Then unwrap the Nucor board and peel off the backing from the adhesive.

    Since the board surface is larger than the artwork, just place the artwork roughly in the middle of the board. Don't worry about registering it with the edges of the board. Smooth the artwork down evenly, using a brayer if you like.

    • Tip: Use white gloves if you don't want to damage the artwork.


    Trim the Edges

    For foamcore or Gatorboard that is only 1/4-inch thick a box cutter will work fine. For thicker board use a heavier utility knife.

    Turn the piece over on a cutting surface. Lay your ruler or straight edge parallel to the edge of the artwork, overlapping it just a little so no white border remains.

    Pierce the surface of the board somewhere outside the image and then cut across the image in one clean stroke. Try to cut all the way through the board, keeping the blade completely perpendicular to the surface. Cut on a cutting surface or a piece of scrap mat board.

    If you didn't manage to cut all the way through, take the blade out of the cutter and very carefully cut through the back by hand.

    Smooth any rough edges with an emery board.



    Hang the Finished Artwork

    To float mount the piece on the wall, cut a piece of 1/2" Gatorboard (or a sandwich of two pieces of 1/4") smaller than the artwork and adhere it to the back with archival glue.

    Many art supply stores sell special hooks for Gatorboard and Foamcore. Attach a hook to the back to hang you picture.


    Alternative Method Using Plywerk
    Another option for dry mounting that is very quick and looks really nice is to use a wooden backing called Plywerk. The backing, mounting, presentation, and self-adhesive are all included in one product. Plywerk is available in maple or bamboo and in different sizes and formats. The exposed edges are wood, so it looks very nice and mounts completely flush. The back is pre-drilled for hanging on the wall.

    1. Make sure the photo is free of dirt.
    2. Peel off the backing.
    3. Lay the photo face down.
    4. Be very careful, as the adhesive is not repositionable and you have to get it right on the first shot. Starting on the top corner, place the Plywerk on the photo with a little of the photo extending outside of the backing all the way around.
    5. Trim the edge using a very sharp razor blade taken out of the case.