Picture Framing and Art Preservation/framing metal prints


Entering a couple pics in gallery show and wonder about mounting metal prints. Had 11 X 14 prints done in regular matte, metallic and metal finishes.  Metal looks by far the best.  I just started framing prints myself in the past 2 years, but have never framed a metal print. Read about float mounting, shadow mounting, etc., but I still like the idea/ look of matting and framing, but don't know how to go about this w/ the already finished quality of the metal print. It seems silly to put additional glass over it (not needed it seems), but if I were to matte it, would need to protect the matte, right?  Anyway, what suggestions do you have?  Thanks for your help!

Hi Michelle,

When you mention a metal finish, I assume you mean something like Endura Metallic? I ask because that is one option, but some labs also print on actual aluminum. I've had some photos of my own printed on the metallic paper and I agree that it looks fantastic.

Either way I would still strongly recommend using glass on them. As you mentioned it would serve to protect the mats, but it would also protect the photo from soiling, mechanical damage such as scratching and curious fingers. Since the colors are so very rich, I can see where you would be concerned about glass being a distraction. In that case I recommend Museum Glass. It has an optical coating on it similar to that used on camera and eyeglass lenses that virtually eliminates reflections. It would be a really nice effect on metallic prints.

As for the mounting method, in general using a reversible method is the best bet for fine photography. As long as the paper is heavy enough to support its own weight then corner pockets or edge strips would great options.

If you choose to permanently mount them to keep them absolutely flat use a method that avoid heat completely like a self-adhesive board or minimizes the heat. KoolTack (http://www.kooltack.com/) has a number of heat-activated adhesive products that use a lower temperature and a very short dwell time. For an incredibly smooth finish use their Permalon release board with their products.

I hope this helps; please feel free to follow up if you have any other questions about this.  

Picture Framing and Art Preservation

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David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF


I can answer questions about all aspects of framing, with special emphasis on preservation framing. Categories of artwork include works of art on paper, needlework, textiles, paintings on canvas and three-dimensional objects. Components of framing includes frames, glass/glazing, mats, mounting, their features and how to select them.


I have been a professional picture framer and educator in the field since 1994, including framing education for a major franchisor encompassing three brands and the Professional Picture Framers Association, and writing and teaching for DECOR Magazine.

Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) > Board member, PPFA > Member, Certification Board > Member, Chapter relations Committee National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR)

DECOR Magazine, 2005 - 2010 PPFA For Members Only newsletter Member of the PPFA Guidelines task force, assisted in writing PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Canvas, and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Textiles and Needlework. Picture Framing Magazine, 2012

Georgia State University, many classes as a student and educator through the Professional Picture Framers Association and DECOR Magazine. Current member of the PPFA guidelines task force and certification board.

Awards and Honors
Earned Certified Picture Framer (CPF) designation in 1996, Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) designation in 2004 and Guild Commended Framer (GCF) status in 2008.

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