Mounting a photo or art to a firm backing or mount board helps stabilize the print and gives it extra protection from tears, creases, and other damage. While typically you’d mount a photo before framing, mounting a photo, document, print, or paper-based original artwork that you plan to transport or temporarily display without a frame gives it the same protections.
In these situations, you’ll want to opt for a more temporary mounting technique to ensure the photo can safely and easily be removed from the board as needed. To afford the best protections, opt for acid-free, archival-quality mount board and photo mounting supplies, even for temporary mounting.
Best Supplies for Temporary Mounting
When selecting a backing board for temporary mounting, it’s tempting to choose for the cheapest option. While it’s generally considered ok to use non-archival quality mount boards for temporary use, it’s important to remember that exposure to the naturally occurring acid in paper-based products can damage your photo, art, or print. To truly protect your photo, choose an acid-free or “rag” mounting board. The mounting board should be a little bigger than your print (this extra room makes it easier to mount the photo and helps protect the edges of your print.)
Since this is only a temporary need, you’ll want to use less invasive mounting supplies. Hinging Tape and Tissue is more permanent and requires more contact with your photo. Instead, opt for photo corners, which don’t adhere directly to your print.
Finally, since your photo won’t be in a frame with protective glazing it will be susceptible to scratching and fingerprints. The mount board stabilizes the print, but doesn’t protect the photo’s surface. To protect the surface, place the entire mounted piece in a protective case, such as shrink wrap or clear bags for temporary display needs, or an extra protective GalleryPouch™ during transport.
Temporary Mounting Technique
If possible, leave about a 1-inch empty border around the image or artwork. This will afford your print further protection from the mounting supplies.
Adhere the photo corners (sometimes called mounting corners) to your backing board. Remember to use an acid-free backing board and photo corners to avoid harmful acid contact with your art. The corners of your print should slide neatly into the photo corners, keeping the image centered on the mount board.
If you’re concerned about the photo bowing out, which can be an issue when using photo corners, shrink wrapping the piece is your best bet. This tight seal protects your photo and keeps it flat. If bowing is less of a concern, a simple sealable clear bag will protect the print just fine.
Transporting art can be a major source of stress, as a lot of damage can be caused during the move. Once your print is temporarily mounted for stability, place the entire thing in a GalleryPouch™ Bubble Bag. The inside of the bag are flat and smooth so it won’t scratch your print (and you can always put it in a clear bag before using the GalleryPouch™ if you’re still concerned) and the tough exterior of the GalleryPouch™ protects the print from scratches and penetrating damage.
With these easy techniques, you can protect your photo, art, print, or document when you only need a temporary solution instead of a full picture frame.