Framing Matters

by Chris A. Paschke, CPF GCF



IEA Newsletter - Wax-On, September 2012

"Dust Covers"


Backing paper is the sheet that is taped or glued to the back of a completed frame to prevent dust, dirt and debris from getting into the package. It also retards pollution and bugs, although the little critters can eat through almost any paper, glue or tape. That said, it is somewhat a moot point in relation to encaustic panels since no glazing is placed in front of the art, so the dust cover becomes more cosmetic. Papers are available in a variety of grades beginning with basic Brown Kraft paper, Black Kraft, Lineco Gray, and White Tyvek being the major players (photo 1).


Black Kraft paper is classy looking but has carbon in it that can leave a mark if bumped against a wall and will leave a ghost on any light colored wall over time even without direct contact to it. Black Tyvek would be the best if black is the color of choice, but it is not currently available through art suppliers though it may be found online. All Tyvek--the material FedEx envelopes are made of--is neutral pH, tear, dust, mold & mildew resistant, and although porous for air circulation is also water resistant…something all other papers are not.


Lineco Acid Free Dust Cover Paper is used most often in preservation framing practices. It is a 40 lb weight blue/gray, acid neutral, buffered paper available by the roll from Dick Blick.





photo 1

(L to R) White Tyvek, Lineco Grey,

Black Kraft, and Brown Kraft



photo 2

Lineco Sealing Tape is an

metallic frame sealing tape.








Frame Sealing Tape

An alternative to paper backing is Lineco Frame Sealing Tape, which is acid neutral, pressure sensitive, available in gray or white in color, laminated to silver foil and is available at most art supply stores in boxes of 1-1/4" x 1000" (photo 2). These work particularly well on metal frames which have a flat side on the back allowing for  the tape to be applied. Sealing tapes are designed to provide an acid free barrier against migration of natural acids and resins found in wood frames or fillets which would only apply to encaustics that have been created on paper or rag boards, as the wood in a regular encaustic panel is already acidic.


Dust covers are an option for most of our encaustic work, but when complete framing is required for partially coated mixed media pieces a dust cover gives the professional finishing touch on any framed piece. Next month I will go step-by-step through the application of a dust cover. Done right it's simple and never harms the art or frame.


Copyright © 2012 Chris A Paschke



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Chris Paschke, CPF GCF

Designs Ink Framing

785 Tucker Road, Suite G-183

Tehachapi, CA 93561