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How are Framing through the Mail Businesses?

Similar to the Big Box stores, the ship it and frame it businesses rely on keeping their cost of goods low in order to justify their overhead expenses. For the framing through the mail operations, their overhead may include high rent amount, high labor costs or advertising.

A smaller framing business may not have the purchasing power that big operations do, but they have a more personal desire to ensure the framing job is done correctly and as the customer expects.

How Foamcore Outgasses and Decomposes Over Time

Not too long ago, a customer came in and asked me to repair a job he sent to the mail order framing operation.  The acrylic sheet broke and he needed it replaced. The item framed, a rare antique wildlife print, wasn't damaged as the acrylic didn't pierce the print.

However, not only was the plexiglass non UV filtering, but the print was glue mounted on foamcore.  He was surprised and asked me if I can remove it.  Examining the print and how it was mounted, I honestly told him it can't be removed, not even by an expert conservator.  The above photo is an image of foam core yellowing through the acids over time.

Although he wasn't happy it couldn't be removed, he asked me to put it back together with UV glass.  No problem.

I also mentioned to him to contact the framing business and explain the value and age of the print and ask them why they would glue mount it on foamboard.

He didn't feel comfortable confronting them.  I understand.

Before you trust volume, low quality framing businesses, know what you have and want to frame.  If it's an inexpensive photo of your office holiday party, no problem.

But, if its a rare map or irreplaceable photo of your great grandmother, think again!  It's virtually impossible to redo what may have been improperly framed.