Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Free Float a Painting

A while ago I had a request to show how to free float a painting.  I've been meaning to do a tutorial, but I just haven't done it for a long time and now that I did a TON of them, I finally have pictures to show you.

Supplies:
-mat board
-a painting (preferably one with nice edges)
-rice paper
-wheat paste
-tape (non-acidic double sided works best)
-a frame with glass

*Disclaimer: This tutorial does NOT show you how to completely and archivally frame a piece, it only shows how to get the "free floating" effect.

1. Rip (do not cut) rice paper into strips that are two sizes: two that are about 1x3-4" and two that are 1x2". 

2. About 1/2-1 inch from the top of the painting, paint the wheat paste onto one of the long rice paper strips onto the back.

3. Then paste one of the short rice paper strips perpinducular to the first, longer strip.  This painting is super small, but even then, you should do at least two strips per painting (so your painting doesn't suddenly tilt inside the frame.)  You can see all of the other paintings I did have two.

4. Let dry. If you used a very watery wheat paste, you might need to place weights to iron out any wrinkles in the paintings.

5.  While the paste is drying, cut a small slit in the mat board, right were the rice paper strip will be.  Make sure this is behind where the painting will be hanging, not too high.

6.  Run the rice paper strip through the mat board and pull until the painting is right where you want it to be. Then you can either use wheat paste to glue the rice paper to the mat board, or just use tape.

7. Then frame and voila!
I do this all the time for my watercolors and prints, and because I have a watercolor and printmaking show up in Sugarhouse, I think I did 10 this last weekend. Whew!

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