Mounting a Photograph onto a substrate

On November 20, 2012 by webmaster

A photograph is presented best when it is completely flat. The best way to achieve this is through mounting it to a substrate. There are various techniques that can be used and this post will look at the techniques of cold mounting and hot mounting.


Cold mounting is the most common method and it is what we, at SE1 Picture Frames, recommend for most of the photographs that come to us. As the name implies, it is a cold process using pressure sensitive adhesives and rollers. Check out this Suitability chart  for advise on recommended print types and this substrate chart for advise on what substrate to use. Both of these are taken from A.Bliss where we get the majority of our specialist mounting done. When fitting the photograph into a frame, the most popular choice is Kapa mounting (which is mounting onto foam board). When hanging the photograph without a picture frame, the most popular choice is aluminium mounting (which is mounting onto aluminium). This process is not reversible.


Hot mounting is mainly used when mounting fibre based prints, thick papers and distorted works on various materials. Hot mounting incorporates heat and pressure and is the oldest and most proven method. This process is reversible and is there for often called conservation mounting. However, the substrate must be a ph neutral museum or conservation board and on larger prints this can cause a problem as they may not be rigid enough once mounted.


Have a look at this flow chart from A.Bliss  that will help guide you to the most suitable substrate for your print/work.

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