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Decoration & Ovals

Useful Tips for Mount Decoration

Examples of decorated mounts

  1. Store gold / silver pens for line / bevels horizontally not vertically
  2. Shake the pens well before use
  3. Test the pens for consistency on a piece of scrap mountboard before use
  4. Ensure that the straight edge does not actually touch the mountboard, along the edge where the pen is to be used
  5. Use a pin or needle to make the start / end finish points for each line
  6. Do not make these holes too deep
  7. If straight edge moves, secure it with Blue-Tac
  8. For water colour lines, test the line colour first on a piece of scrap mountboard, allow to dry and test for suitability. This also applies to water colour wash band.
  9. Do not buy an expensive artist’s pallet, use a cake tin with nine cake holes to mix your watercolour in
  10. For water colour wash band start the wash with water only at the start / finish point. In hot weather wash the whole mount with water before using the colour
  11. Do not make the washes too dark

Exert from book Frames and Framing by Andy Parks

The width of the mount needs to be wide enough to accommodate your mount decoration. Therefore it is probably wise to cut a wider border than you think you will need at first. Then cut down the mount border width after decoration to avoid the mount decoration dominating the picture. It is fairly easy to go over the top with mount decoration so do keep this in mind. Also subtle mount decoration using watercolour will only be visible on lighter coloured mount boards so water colour decoration will look the best on off white coloured mount boards.

Useful Tips For Oval Mounts & Frames

Oval Frame

An example of picture framing using an oval mount & frame

For Mounts:

  1. Make sure the Stanley knife blade is sharp.
  2. Use Blu-Tac to secure the mount to the cutting matt and the cutting matt to the bench.
  3. Keep the knife as horizontal as possible NOT VERTICAL as this will keep the knife under control and ensure a clean cut.
  4. Keep your fingers out of the path of the knife at all times.
  5. Use a piece of string that does not stretch.
  6. Oval mounts are easier to cut on thin boards or paper.
  7. Cut mounts from the back of the board you are using.

For Frames:

  1. If you are cutting the glass yourself (not recommended) do be very careful of glass splinters and always wear protective glasses.
  2. When cleaning the glass, be aware of sharper edges on the glass than on straight pieces of glass. They are very, very sharp.
  3. Take time ensuring that there is an even amount of mount showing around the picture. If you fit it uneven, it will show very badly.
  4. When fitting the back into the oval frame, try to make the back as close as possible to the top of the frame. This will make papering in a lot easier.