What is Dry Mounting and How Does it Work?

Home > Tips & Techniques Main Page > Picture Framing Articles


D
ry Mounting Basics

Dry Mounting
is the process of affixing artwork to foamboard or some other flat, firm substrate by applying of a uniform coat of adhesive between the art and the substrate, and then applying firm, uniform pressure to create adhesion.

The Benefit of Dry Mounting is that it provides a uniform coat of adhesive to cover the back of artwork for a flat, firm mount with no danger of the artwork buckling or slumping in the frame package.

Dry Mounting Tissues carry the adhesive.  When a dry mounting tissue is placed between the art and the substrate and heat is applied, the adhesive melts creating a bond.  Instructions that come with the tissues will tell you how much heat and time is necessary for the application.
 
The Platen is the hard top metal plate of the dry mount press.  When clamped down on the artwork it does two things.  It heats up, melting the adhesive and applies pressure to create uniform adhesion.  The heat of the platen is controlled by a thermostat.  When the artwork is larger than the platen itself, it can be mounted section by section. 


ColorMount® is a high-grade mounting tissue with excellent lay-flat and bonding qualities. It was specially developed for dry mounting resin-coated photographs but is also an excellent choice for dry mounting posters, blue prints and other papers to most substrates, including cardboard, hard board, foam board, aluminum, masonite, and Plexiglas to name a few.  ColorMount is a good all around mounting tissue.

RagMount is a heat-activated adhesive with a 100% acid free, lignin-free rag tissue carrier. This is the only adhesive on the market today that is designed for dry mounting Giclee prints. It can also be used in dry mounting digital prints to fine art paper and in traditional dry mounting applications.


Basic Dry Mounting Operation

1.  Turn on the press and adjust the thermostat to the recommended temperature.  Instructions come with the tissues.

2.  Lay the foamboard or other substrate on a flat surface outside the press.  Brush away dust or particles with a dusting brush.

3.  Lay the dry mounting tissue on top of the substrate.

4.  Lay the artwork face up on the dry mounting tissue.

5.  Place the substrate, dry mounting tissue and artwork into the press.

6.  Close the press and allow for the recommended time.

7.  Remove the mounted artwork from the press.