Gently remove your print from the box and separate it from the foam. Use two hands when handling the print, as creases in the paper are hard to remove. You may leave it in the plastic to protect the paper from the oils on your hands. Lay the print down on a smooth surface. Use smooth weights, like books, on the four corners of the piece to flatten. Once it’s mostly flattened, turn the print over and weight it again until flat.


If unframed, it is best to keep it in a cool, dry, dark place on a flat surface in contact with acid free materials.


If you are going to frame the print, here is an explanation of the different elements you’ll encounter.

The Frame:

Made of wood or metal, the frame is the support system for the work of art. The larger the piece, the more substantial the frame should be, since the weight of the glass and other materials are heavier. When going to a custom frame shop, the frame is usually the most expensive part of the process. This is because each frame is built specifically for your artwork, and many of the mouldings are hand-crafted and/or finished. There is no shame, however, in buying and using pre-joined frames, as long as they are strong enough for your size artwork. You can find these in many art supply stores and craft stores, or you can get used frames in thrift stores or antique shops. Another option is to buy a frame with a poster or print already included, like the ones sold at stores such as Target and TJMaxx. Just remove the artwork, use the frame for your new work, and you’ll still save more than getting a custom job. Also, at craft stores like Michael’s you can buy kits with sets of two frame legs, so that you can easily build your own custom sized frame.

The Mount:

For art prints, choose the least destructive and most reversible mounting process. You should not dry-mount or permanently affix fine art prints to backing boards. Water based, non- acrylic, pH neutral adhesives are non-permanent. When possible, it is preferable to use corners to hold the artwork, as there is no adhesive in contact with it. “Corners” are little triangle shaped pockets that are attached to the backing board into which the corners of the artwork are tucked. Hinges are the other option. Hinges are little strips of acid free paper or linen tape adhered to the top edge of the artwork. The idea behind hinges is to use a material that is weaker than the artwork’s paper so that if it comes under stress, the hinge will tear before the artwork.

The Matboard:

Select acid free boards for the top mat and the backing boards to help prevent discoloration and deterioration of the print. The best is 100% cotton rag. Matting works on paper is important because it keeps the paper from having direct contact with the glass, where it cannot “breathe” and could come in contact with condensation.

The Glass:

Regular clear glass protects from 47% of damaging UV rays.

Non-glare has a slightly etched surface, so it does not reflect as much light.

Conservation Clear has a clear film which protects it from at least 97% of harmful UV rays. This also comes in Reflection Control, with one side etched like Non-glare.

Museum glass protects from UV rays to the same degree as Conservation Clear, but it also has a special coating that breaks up the incoming light rays so that it does not produce a glare when bouncing off the glass. Through this process, it actually allows more (harmless) light to illuminate the work, so the colors are brighter.

UV Plexiglass is much less likely to break than glass and is significantly lighter in weight. It also filters out the largest percentage of damaging UV rays: 99%, making it the choice for many museums around the world.

The “Fitting”:

Fitting is a step in professional framing where great care is taken to seal all the parts into the frame in order to protect them from dust, bugs, humidity, and other environmental toxins.