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gluing inkjet prints onto wood

Anthony R , Jul 13, 2006; 11:02 p.m.

I made a series of 13"x19" prints with my Epson 1280 (taken with my Nikon) and I wanted to arrange them onto a large piece (37"x53") of (thin 1/8"inch) wood. I primed & painted the wood white, framed the back so it won't warp, and used a can of Scotch 3M Photo Mount Spray Adhesive, spraying the back of the prints and carefully placing them on the board. But half a day later, the prints didn't adhere as well as I thought they would, a few corners were coming off, and I expect over a short time they will all come loose.

Can anyone tell me what is a good glue to use in this case? A glue gun I suspect would stick but it would be too thick. The back of a small bottle of Elmer's Glue says "not for photos", though I think that refers more to real photo paper, not inkjet photopaper, but I didn't want to try it, glue up the backs of the prints even more, and find out that doesn't work either. Double- stick tape won't stick to the painted wood. Basically, I am looking for a thin strong glue, maybe something professionals know about and use.

Thanks.

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dennis lee , Jul 14, 2006; 12:36 a.m.

Anthony, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the problem may not be the photo paper but the paint on the wood. I've had good luck with the photo mount spray years ago but noticed it was a bit finicky on different surfaces. I don't know what to suggest, a thin coat of epoxy keeps coming to mind.

I did a series of pictures of a dam last year. All the shots are basically from the same spot in different weather. I've been contemplating displaying a set of pictures at the same spot that the pictures where made. I think my solution is going to be using plexi-glass to sandwich the print to the wood. I'm hoping this will also add a modicum of weather proofing.

We'll see. Good Luck. Dennis

Here are two... I don't really like these two actually (but easy to find)... but..., well..., it will give you and idea of what kinda boredom I'm facing in my life.

Jay Ott , Jul 14, 2006; 01:00 a.m.

I think you'd be better off with dry mounting or maybe Mac Tac mounting film. Mounting on wood is not archival and over time your print will probably oxidize unless you use some kind of sealer over the print.

Elliot Bernstein , Jul 14, 2006; 06:18 a.m.

I would suggest laminating them with 5 or 10mil clear film lamination prior to mounting them. The lamination will keep them flat, make them look great and help preserve them (as inkjet photos tend to fade over time), plus make it easier to mount as you could easily use 2 sided tape instead of spray glue.

Lamination is available in both gloss and matte finishes.

Hope this helps.

Mike Pobega , Jul 14, 2006; 06:29 a.m.

When I did alot of this I used a two sided material made by 3M. It was clean and accurate, but a roll could be pricey.

BW Combs , Jul 14, 2006; 10:21 a.m.

I use a double-sided adhesive film by Grafix.

http://www.grafixarts.com/double_tack.htm

It is acid free, and I have used it for virtually all my mounting projects. It is available in sheets (I use the 18 x 24 inch exclusively).

Anthony R , Jul 15, 2006; 01:04 a.m.

Thanks so much for all the answers. Dennis, thanks, I considered plexiglass, but I wanted a more direct view of the prints, without the viewer having to see through any layer, and the resulting reflections, but the epoxy glue you mention may do the trick. (And your two excellent photos are hardly examples of boredom, but of the stunning beauty of our planet. If that's boring, give me boring.)

Jay, in this case I'm not really interested in archival permanence; I expect to take this down in a year or so, certainly before it noticeably fades (it's in B&W, so I don't think the fading would be as noticeable anyway). Elliot: thanks, but laminating in this case is not worth the expense and the size of the board.

B.W. Combs: I think I like this Grafix product the best! I'll stop by Pearl Paint or Dick Blick in NYC and get some. Thanks again to all.

Edward Ingold , Jul 15, 2006; 01:54 a.m.

Wood expands up to 1/4 inch per foot at right angles to the grain with increasing humidity (temperature has negligible effect). Paper is only about 1/4 as affected as wood. I would expect inkjet prints to become un-bonded with the wood or split with the change in seasons. If you use wood, it will have to be furniture-grade, veneered plywood.

Have you thought about transferring the image to the painted surface?

Elmer's glue requires a porous surface and dries hard. You need something with some flex, like Pliobond. 3M Photo Mount Adhesive needs a porous surface too.

Most common paints are oil-based. Spray paints use linseed or fish oil carriers, which never dry hard. I would suggest a urethane paint. Apply the photo within 24 hours, after a light sanding of the paint. After that, urethane sets too hard to bond with anything else, even more urethane.

Bruce Norikane , Jul 15, 2006; 07:09 a.m.

The best adhesive depends on what inkjet paper you're using. the glossy papers tend to be plastic base, the fine art matte papers are cotton or wood fiber. Papers that can be printed on both sides will have a coated on the back. Each could require a different glue.

The paint can also make a difference. Painting the wood with a barrier primer like Kilz (paint stores) or acrylic gesso (art supply stores) would protect the print from the wood and provide a better surface to glue.

3m's PMA sheets work well with many photo medias, and is used by many photographers. I know some people use white PVA glue for gluing inkjet prints to wood. You can use a good, archival PVA from an art supply store, or Elmers. I've had some trouble with PVA and use a liquid contact cement. I coat both surfaces. It's more trouble than the PVA, but works for me.

If you have any trouble, I'd call 3m. They have tremendous technical support people for their adhesive products. You can get the number off the 3m website.

Anthony R , Jul 15, 2006; 11:22 a.m.

I had this large piece of wood lying around for a long while and thought I could use it to mount a series of 13x19 photos on it. I primed the 1/8"-thin wood with an oil-base primer sealer on both sides and the edges, and painted it with a flat white water based paint on both sides. The wood's so thin that it wouldn't lie flat, so I glued a wood frame (four mitered 2-1/2" molding) to the back with Gorilla Glue and it is now very flat, and that glue is strong. (It expands and thickens, however, so it isn't good for the photos.) I screwed in 2 picture wire hooks into the back frame. (see attached photo). The inkjet paper I used is Epson SuperA3/Super B Photo Paper (S041143): 2 across by 4. The Epson backing has a more papery, less plasticky feel. I'll give liquid contact cement a try as well.

I found this site using Google which has more gluing advice (LePage Bondfast?): http://www.thistothat.com/index.shtml


37" x 53-1/2" - very lightweight for hanging

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