what is conservation board

Conservation framing is the use of techniques and specially made materials to protect framed works and prevent the art degrading, one of these materials is conservation board.

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Why use conservation board
in picture frames?

• Acid free
• Protects art

Conservation board, also called a barrier board, is a PH neutral (pH8.9) material used in framing. It is made with a PH neutral aqueous PVA and buffered with Calcium carbonate (an antacid) to ensure they do not discolour with age, this allows the bevel stays perfectly white overtime.

Cotton core museum boards are made from 100% cotton fibre, free from acid, lignin and sulphur and have a slightly more neutral pH at 7.8. 

The conservation board, also called a barrier board, helps protect the artwork by creating a physical barrier between the artwork and the backing board.

What is it used for?

Conservation boards are used for mounting and backing artwork to protect them from any contact with acidic surfaces that could affect the artwork in a detrimental way; discolouration, foxing etc.

It is always best to include a layer of conservation board behind artwork as a barrier between the art and the backing board. You may see this being referred to as “Barrier Board”.

Conservation board can also be cut up into strips and used as a spacer to create a space between the artwork and the glass.

What tapes can I use with conservation boards?

Anything PH neutral/ acid free but here is what our professional framers use

1)PH7-70 hinging tape: a pressure sensitive self adhesive tape ideal for hinging lower value artworks into mounts, this is the quickest tape to use. Needs to be room temperature for the adhesive to cure properly. 

2)Conservation gummed paper hinging tape:  An Acid-free, lignin-free, white paper tape, 70gsm. Water activated, pH neutral starch adhesive. High tensile strength of the paper so superb for hinging heavier papers. Moisten with de-ionised water. Can be removed with water and care from firm paper surfaces.

3) Hayaku Hinging Paper gummed:  Hayaku is a Japanese Mulberry paper coated with acid free water activated adhesive. Used for hinging works of art on paper, repair of paper and structural applications in art, bookbinding, memorabilia and conservation. The adhesive dries strong and won’t creep.

Hayaku gummed mulberry paper tape is reversible with water. To remove, apply enough clean water to saturate the tape, using a sponge or similar. Wait, patiently, for the water to penetrate the paper and adhesive. Remove and clean up adhesive residue with water. Again, you need to use de-ionised water to lightly moisten it.

Interested in learning more about framing?

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Read more about framing

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Framed Perfection: How to Keep Your Picture Frames Looking Their Best

How to use a mount cutter for lefties: A step by step guide

Need help picking the best mount cutter?

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