A new format – 18.5″ x 32″ Mounted Prints

Here’s a little step by step of my newest mounted pieces: 18.5″ x 32″ By Order of the Managment Mounted Prints.

Step one is to create the print itself. I use a heavy weight matte surface paper, and it is very important that the print is water resistant. 

Normally, I mount my prints on 3/4″ Birch Plywood, but with a print this large, 3/4″ ply would be awfully heavy. A good alternative is what is called a Cradled Board. It is basically a thin piece of plywood with a cradle, or wooden frame, attached to the back to add depth and make the board more stable.

Cradled boards are commercially available, but usually only in standard sizes. Since my BOTM series are not standard sized, I have to make my cradled boards.

That means cutting 1/4″ Birch ply to size.

And ripping select wood to the required cradle depth. In this case, the customer did not want a lot of depth, so we chose 5/8″ for the strip size. With the 1/4″ ply, total depth will be around 7/8″.

This is the assembled board. I use very short brads and wood glue to attach the cradle to the board. 

This project is for five pieces, so I repeat the process 4 more times and get the 5 cradled boards you see here. At this point, after countersinking the brads on the front of the board, it’s time for lots of wood filler and sanding. Each nail hole needs to be flush, or it will be visible in the finished product.

Once the boards are sanded (and in this case, the sides painted white) Mod Podge™ is applied in a thin coat to the front of the board.

Then you hold your breath as you place the print on top of the glue…

Being careful to not put pressure on the print until it is loosely positioned.

I use my fingertips to “feel” for the proper alignment of the print. I make my board slightly smaller than the print to leave my self a little room to work with while positioning.

Once the print is in position, I carefully work the surface of the print to make sure that the paper is adhering to the wood. I try to eliminate air bubbles immediately and pay special attention to the edges because if the print does not stick well there, it’s not easy to fix later.

Here you can see the mounted prints. The next step is trimming the print, but that will have to wait for another post 🙂

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