I have a very large watercolor painting (measures almost 4' x 12') which I
want to hang on a wall. My choices are to put it in a 4 x 12 red oak frame
that I already have, or the suggestion of a local frame shop, which is to
sandwich it between two pieces of acrylic, without a separate frame.
I can get 2 pieces of 4 x 12 acrylic, 1/8" thick, but they are pricey so I
don't want to make a mistake. Each piece is $165, and the shipping from the
NYC warehouse is $100.
If I use the red oak frame, I will have to have just one piece of acrylic,
but it will have to be cut to the right size, just under 4 x 12, to fit into
the rabbet in the frame. The painting will have to be mounted to foamcore,
and because of the size, I think I'll need two layers, staggered so the
seams don't overlap. This additional thickness means I'll have to build up
the back of the frame by about 1/4-1/2" to support the foamcore.
If I sandwich the painting between two pieces of acrylic, I'll have to drill
through both pieces near the perimeter and add bolts, properly cushioned, to
sandwich the two pieces together, and also devise some method of hanging it.
Because I suspect the 1/8" acrylic in that size is very flexible, I may have
to brace the acrylic with a wooden crosspiece, which probably can be hidden
behind the painting. I don't think I can just hang it from two bolts
through the top of the acrylic sandwich because of the size and weight of
the assembly. I'll probably have to hang it from the bottom, with the top
also tied to the hanging chain to keep it vertical.
I haven't worked with acrylic since high school shop class, a long time ago.
1. If I use the frame I assume the supplier will have to cut the acrylic to
size, because I don't think it can be done with confidence in a home
2. If I try the sandwich, I will have to drill a number of holes through
the acrylic. One mistake which cracks the acrylic will ruin the whole
project. I will also have to polish the edges and protect the corners.
Does anyone reading this have experience with handling acrylic? How risky
is drilling it and are there any secrets (e.g., clamping a piece of wood on
either side before drilling?) How flexible is this 12' long piece (s) going
This is turning out to be more of a project than I originally expected --
all for a painting picked up for $75 in a street market in Western China 25
years ago --