How to Flatten a Print for Framing


Bean Bag Weights for FramingOkay, so you are staring at an endless supply of packing tubes that contain your favorite concert posters. You’ve finally mustered up the courage to tackle the project of storing your poster properly, and framing your favorite prints. Once the print is out of the tube, how do you flatten it?

Flattening posters is a fairly straightforward task. You can likely accomplish the task using normal household items, but we’ll also recommend a few other tools that may come in handy if you happen to be flattening more than one print, or have a large collection to tackle.

First things first, find a clean open space. A countertop is typically a good space for this, but make sure you know the space will free of any food, liquids, or any other things that may disrupt the flattening process (you never know with kids and roommates!).

I line the table with an acid free paper to ensure that any cleaners, or residue on the countertop do not touch the print that we are flattening. Similarly, I will put the acid free paper on top of the print so that the print does not come in contact with the weights that put on the poster to flatten it. I normally keep a few pieces of cardboard handy (approximately 36″ x 24″) to help sandwich the print in between. Once you do this you can apply pressure to the print to keep it flat while you gather the weights. If you have the poster completely flat you can almost use anything heavy around the house. I’ve used everything from books, to cans of food, to bean bags to keep sustained pressure on the print.

How long does it take to flatten? This depends on the print and how long it was stored in a tube. The sooner the print comes out of the tube, the quicker it will take to flatten. If the print has been in there for a few years it could take 24 hours, up to a day.

Overall, the process is fairly easy. All you need is a bit of clean undisturbed space, and some household object to hold down the print. If you’d like to go the conservatory route, or not use household items, look into the acid free paper, and the bean bags weights.

Ready to frame? Read on: How to Frame a Poster


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