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Articles by Chris A. Paschke, CPF GCF

Framing Matters, IEA Newsletter - Wax-On

"Dust Covers"

September 2012

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).

201209_001bPhoto 1
(L to R) White Tyvek, Lineco Grey, Black Kraft, and Brown Kraft

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.

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 1¼" 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.

201209_002bPhoto 2
Lineco Sealing Tape is a metallic frame sealing tape.

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

For more articles on mounting basics look under the mounting section in Articles by Subject.
There is a special section in the library for all past IEA Framing Matters articles from Wax-On!

Additional information on all types of mounting is found in:
The Mounting and Laminating Handbook, Second Edition, 2002,
The Mounting And Laminating Handbook, Third Edition, 2008 and
Creative Mounting, Wrapping, And Laminating, 2000 will teach you everything you need to know about getting the most from your dry mount equipment and materials as an innovative frame designer.

All books are available from Designs Ink Publishing through this website.

Chris A Paschke, CPF GCF
Designs Ink
Designs Ink Publishing
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Tehachapi, CA 93561
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