Framing without glass?

Started Nov 28, 2007 | Discussions
jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,075
Framing without glass?

I wasn't sure what forum to put this, but since it has to do with prints I did at home on my Epson 3800, I thought I'd try here.

I'm looking to put up a bunch of prints on a hallway wall in our home to make kind of a gallery. The idea is to keep the prints fairly recent family events so I'll be updating the prints every so often rather than looking for a long term fine art kind of presentation.

Because I'll have quite a number of prints/frames and I hate reflective glass and museum glass is ridiculously expensive, I'm wondering about framing them without any glass. Some family portraits we had done 8 years ago were framed that way and I kind of like it.

What do you all think of framing for this circumstance without glass? Good idea or bad idea?

Also, does anyone know if you need to get a particular type of frame that can hold the picture securely without the thickness of the glass being present?

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JLK Veteran Member • Posts: 4,506
Re: Framing without glass?

A couple thoughts...

Gatorboard makes a good substrate for affixing the photo, and you end up with a frameless 'floating' image. It's quite durable, and moderate priced.

I have a steel-walled office where I use black foamcore and rare earth magnets on the back---this works very well, and is much lower cost. The foamcore can warp a bit, so I don't consider this anything approaching archival.

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Jim

waveney2 Contributing Member • Posts: 640
Re: Framing without glass?

I've tried quite a few glassless framing soultions and the worst was the regular frame without glass - the print surface collected dust, small bugs and spider cr*p...not good at all. I reverted to glass frames and altered the lighting to give better viewing instead.

I've recently started to use clear acrylic sheet with the print lacquered to the rear. Reflections are far less a problem if hung at an angle to the wall and the prints are easily changed. They wipe clean but can scratch if you're not too careful. I've also done some prints on transparency film mounted behind the acrylic which work really well for rear lit situations ie. you can light the wall instead of the print or hang them in front of windows.

waveney
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sizzlechest New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Framing without glass?

I remember awhile back (10 plus years) there was the Evercolor process and those prints were recommended to hang without glass. I think with the 3800, the only thing in questions would be its lightfastness (if thats the right word) without any UV protectant in front of it. But if you are changing them out, that really doesn't matter!

Jon Shiu Regular Member • Posts: 329
Re: Framing without glass?

Hi, you might look into poster hangers, which are just a rod-like plastic thing to hang the top and another piece to weight the bottom.

Jon

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panoramic Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Framing without glass?

Try coating the prints with some archival spray, like Lumijet Image Shield, Hahnemuhle Protective Spray, or ClearStar Coating spray. These will help protect the prints from scuffs, moisture, uv light. I highly recommend them.
--
Kory Gunnasen
Digital Fine Art Printing Lab Manager
Booksmart Studio
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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Forum Pro • Posts: 10,511
Re: Framing without glass?

I'm hanging prints on Hahnemuhle Photo rag and HP artist matte canvas - both given 2 coats of Matt Glamour Varnish - some block mounted and framed, others just block mounted. Up to 1 year's exposure so far and the look as good as the day the went up. I just dust them down with a soft, new, paintbrush every so oftne.

The look wonderful compared to the same prints behind glass.

I've sold a few like this as well (with the customers full knowledge of possible degradation due to surface muck etc) - they've all been delighted so far (I've even had some repeat business from a few of them - for new prints, not reprints!

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OP jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,075
Re: Framing without glass?

panoramic wrote:

Try coating the prints with some archival spray, like Lumijet Image
Shield, Hahnemuhle Protective Spray, or ClearStar Coating spray.
These will help protect the prints from scuffs, moisture, uv light.
I highly recommend them.

A protective spray sounds like an excellent idea. This particular location is an interior hallway without much natural light so there probably isn't a lot of UV to worry about, but I could use a little helpful protection from scuffs, moisture, dust, etc... Thanks for the idea.
--
John
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Paul T. Klein Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: Framing without glass?

I agree that gatorboard is durable but not inexpensive. Dry mounting 16X20 prints costs about $25 for 3/16 black gatorboard in Houston

Tage Bjorklund Contributing Member • Posts: 887
why use frame?

I have many beautiful pictures hanging on my walls,

and I prefer mounting without glass.

One reason is that glass breaks easily, the mounting requires use of a matte to keep the print from making contact with the glass, which is expensive, another main reason is that glass reflects light and makes it difficult to appreciate the picture unless the picture can be placed in such a position where there are no reflections in the glass (unlikely), and spotlights have to be arranged so that the picture is visible without reflections (costly).

my preferred choice has been to use canvas prints framed without glass, or to simply mount the prints (canvas or paper prints) onto foamboard (I prefer black core foamboard) or gatorboard.

for mounting I use 3M Scotch 568 adhesive in 16 inch rolls.

to protect the surface of the pictures I use Lumijet Imageshield which is sprayed onto the surface. This seems like a very toxic substance, and I am sure there are better alternatives that can be applied by brush. I have just not got that far yet..

My reason for coating my prints is to avoid scratches more than to make the prints last forever. (anybody who watched Al Gores movie "An inconveniant thruth" will understand me if I claim that it is not really important that the prints last a hundred years...)

foam board can be used if there is not a lot of humidity and the picture is not larger than 16x20. I attach Velcro to the back of the foamboard, and if the picture is small I attach the matching Velcro to the wall using the adhesive. If the picture is large, I use a staple gun to make sure the Velcro will stay on the wall.

for larger pictures Gatorboard is a better choice than foam board, because humidity will not make the picture warp, the picture stays flat over time. but Gatorboard is expensive, hard to find and difficult to cut. I use a table saw.

Tage

jfriend00 wrote:

I wasn't sure what forum to put this, but since it has to do with
prints I did at home on my Epson 3800, I thought I'd try here.

I'm looking to put up a bunch of prints on a hallway wall in our home
to make kind of a gallery. The idea is to keep the prints fairly
recent family events so I'll be updating the prints every so often
rather than looking for a long term fine art kind of presentation.

Because I'll have quite a number of prints/frames and I hate
reflective glass and museum glass is ridiculously expensive, I'm
wondering about framing them without any glass. Some family portraits
we had done 8 years ago were framed that way and I kind of like it.

What do you all think of framing for this circumstance without glass?
Good idea or bad idea?

Also, does anyone know if you need to get a particular type of frame
that can hold the picture securely without the thickness of the glass
being present?

Eric Chan Senior Member • Posts: 2,800
Re: Framing without glass?

When finalizing pieces for myself (as opposed to for clients) I always do it without glass / acrylic. I use standard frames, mounting board, and mat board, but leave out the plexi. I print primarily on matte paper. The result is glare-free, no distracting reflections. I like it.
--
Eric Chan
http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/photos/
http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/index.html

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