Tips for Mounting Canvas Giclée Prints

Not too long ago, a customer came in with one of her canvas giclées that she had mounted onto foam board using a PH – balanced book binding glue. She was dismayed because the varnish and pigmented ink on the face of her canvas had bubbled up and peeled in areas. She had used an archival glue, and had been very careful not to get any on the surface of the print. Since it was a mild glue, safe enough for binding books, she thought it would work for mounting her canvas giclées.

Not so.  Even though the glue was “acid-free,” it still emitted gasses during the drying process. These gasses soaked through the canvas backing and literally ate through the coating on the canvas, thus reaching the pigmented inks. (The canvas we use comes with a special coating to which the pigmented inks bond.) The only glue we recommend is Miracle Muck, which is available through SourceTek in Arizona.

According to SourceTek, the following steps should be followed when mounting your canvas giclée onto a substrate, such as a wood panel, foam board or masonite. Because Miracle Muck sets rather quickly, you’ll need to have the following materials ready:  substrate, canvas giclée, a razor cutter (with new blade), a short nap paint roller, paint tray, brayer (rolling pin) and some weights (books or reams of paper) to place on the mounted print as it dries.

  1. Lay your substrate on a flat surface and have your canvas giclée ready.
  2. Pour a small amount of Muck into the paint tray. Replace the cap on the Muck bottle tightly.
  3. Roll the short nap paint roller into the Muck and then remove some of it by rolling it along the ridges of the tray (like you would do if painting a wall).
  4. Roll a thin, even layer of Miracle Muck onto the board. Set the roller back in the tray.
  5. Immediately roll your canvas on, starting it by squaring it along one edge of the board and rolling it out onto the whole board.
  6. Begin applying firm pressure with the brayer starting at one end and working your way to the other end, making sure you push all bubbles out in the process.
  7. Once you have rolled it out, trim the edges with the razor cutter (this step can also be done after the glue has dried.)
  8. Lay the mounted giclée flat and put weights on top of it for at least 24 hours until dry. Now it is ready for framing!

Troubleshooting:

If you experience any lifting of corners, simply lift the canvas and blow a hair dryer on the Muck for a few seconds to reactivate it. Hold the canvas down on the reactivated Muck for about 10 seconds.

If you have a bubble in the canvas, lift the canvas up to that point and use a hair dryer to reactivate it. Use the Brayer to roll it out again. Place weights on it for an hour until dry. If it is a large area, you may need to apply more Muck.

If you accidentally get glue on the face of the canvas, let it dry completely before touching it. Any attempt to wipe it off while it is wet will cause the ink to lift from the canvas. The glue dries completely transparent, so if there is a little on the surface, it should be invisible.

Miracle Muck is available at SourceTek,  P.O. Box 14765, Scottsdale,  AZ 85267-4765  Visit their website or call (800) 587-5462.