The Framer's Corner: Do's and Don'ts for Framing Your Original Vintage Posters
Many of our customers look forward to framing their new vintage poster, but are unsure of the steps needed to ensure that their poster lasts another hundred years.
Here are some good rules of thumb to follow:
1. Never, ever, dry-mount your poster. Although your vintage poster may lay flatter in the frame using this technique, it will permanently impact resale and insurance values. This differs from the completely reversible and archival linen-backing process.
2. If you decide to place a mat around your poster, be certain that your framer is using acid-free and conservationist approved matboard. Similarly, an acid-free foam core should be used directly behind your poster inside the frame.
3. Either plexiglass or traditional glass may be used on your vintage posters. Plexiglass is what we prefer if the piece is larger than 16x20, for the simple reason that it is significantly lighter in weight. No matter the choice, always be sure to consider a UV coating. This is usually a nominal upgrade that will greatly extend the life of the inks and paper of your poster.
4. Since many original vintage posters are very large, we recommend reinforcing the back of the frame's corners. We also do not recommend hanging frames larger than 36" x 48" with wire. Instead, have your framer insert hooks onto each side of the back of the frame. Wires put stress on the frame corners when the piece is too heavy.
5. It is fine for your framer to trim the canvas the poster has been mounted to. However, make certain that they do not trim the actual paper of your poster if you are concerned about the long term resale value of the piece.
Lastly, keep in mind that these posters were printed a very long time ago. Not all images are registered perfectly, and this may show up once they are framed. Part of the beauty of a vintage poster is in the imperfections!
Have fun with framing, and be sure to send us a photo of your pieces up in your home!