How to prepare a pastel painting safely protect without a frame
Not ready to frame...but ready to be sold!
By Marie France Oosterhof

You know that the gallery where you will soon expose your fragile pastels will allow you a limited number of framed paintings to be hung on their walls. But they may offer you a portfolio or stand to display unframed paintings. And yes, of course, it is possible to do, without any damage for your works!
Here is a step-by-step instruction of how to do it.


Prepare a passepartout (mat)
• You will need one piece of thick acid-free off-white cardboard (3 mm thick)
• Measure and mark, on the back side of the board, the dimensions of the “window” (the part of the painting you want to be seen)
• Measure and mark the width of the mat: don’t be stingy, they have to be large, at least 9 cm on each side
• Cut the window with a cutter
• Tape your pastel to the back of the board. If possible do not cut the margins of your pastel, even if they are free of drawing
• Wrap in crystal clear thin plastic foil (your florist will have some, and may sell too), tape the transparent foil on the back, just like you’d wrap a gift.

Protected pastel painting


Tip: In case you have to present several paintings of different sizes: cut all the outer edges of the passepartouts/mats to the same size
As the biggest painting. No matter if the margins are very large
around the smallest ones. It will be even better for the cohesion between your paintings, and more elegant.
Wrapped that way, your paintings will be protected, and everyone will dare to handle them. One more, and interesting, advantage: the viewer will easily imagine how the painting could look when framed
- this is a very important point, as people often...have not too much
imagination!


And, l astly, I won’t forget you, the painter! In case–improbable!
–you would not sell all your paintings, they will be safely protected to be stocked in your studio...waiting for a future customer!