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Mounting / Dry Mounting

Mounting a photo, print or artwork, is the procedure by which they are bonded to a surface, known at the substrate. The substrate can vary according to the artwork’s needs or the client’s vision. With forty years of working in mounting, we can offer a vast amount of advice and knowledge. Please feel free to contact us whatever your mounting requirements are.

In the meantime, the most commonly used substrates are explained below:

Aluminium Mounting

Aluminium frame corner

Aluminium subframe corner

Aluminium provides a totally smooth surface to mount work to and it is often favoured for mounting photos, particularly if they’re glossy. A print mounted to aluminium can be hung directly to the wall without needing to be framed, as the edges are very clean cut and smooth. For hanging, an aluminium sub-frame is fixed to the back which creates the impression that the panel is floating. Wooden battens can also be attached to the reverse for easier fixing into float type frames.

Dibond Mounting

This material also has a smooth surface made and comprises of two thin sheets of aluminium that line its front and back, sandwiching a dark polythene core. It is a very durable and rigid substrate that can provide a lighter alternative to aluminium. It comes in varying thicknesses, colours and finishes. Like aluminium a sub-frame or wooden battens can be fixed to the reverse for hanging and/or frame fixing purposes.

Kapa Mount

This is a polyurethane-core foam board that is reinforced back and front with thin aluminium-reinforced liners that make it strong and rigid whilst being very light weight. Its surface is smooth and is ideal for mounting all types of prints. This substrate can be used to mount work intended for framing but can also be hung directly using one of many options available.

Foamex Mounting

This is a lightweight rigid PVC board with a smooth finish available in various thicknesses and colours. We recommend it for mounting matt or semi-gloss work that you intend to frame. Alternatively mounted panels can be hung using one of the many options available.

Conservation/Museum card

When used with the correct adhesive this provides the perfect archival solution. The possible downside is that the surface is not particularly smooth, therefore it might not provide the perfect finish for glossy prints.


This substrate is surprisingly effective for mounting. It won’t harm your prints and with its relatively smooth surface it’s suitable for matt and semi-gloss finishes. It comes in various thicknesses and the sides of the MDF can be painted black, white or with a supplied colour. It can be hung without being framed, usually with a split batten hanging system or flush inserts on the reverse.

Face mounting to acrylic

Example of acrylic mounting, dry mounting on acrylic

Example of acrylic mounting

This is the process of bonding a print (or duratran) face up, to the reverse of clear acrylic / perspex. When the panel needs to be hung a backing sheet is attached to the reverse, onto which a sub-frame is fixed.

The clear acrylic is available in various thicknesses and we usually polish the edges to finish the panel completely to give it that wow factor.

This is a beautiful way of displaying prints as the image is seen through the acrylic giving it a sense of depth.

Please contact us now for all your mounting requirements. If you have any other substrates in mind please let us know and we will find the best solution for you.

Picture Framing Services

For all your picture framing needs, we recommend and work closely with our neighbouring framers OAKSMITH STUDIO