How to do Dibond Mounting: Easy-to-Follow-Guide for Stunning Results
How to do Dibond Mounting
As a photographer or artist, you understand that your work is only as good as the materials you use from the inception stage to the presentation. When exhibiting an artistic photo, the quality of the paper is vital if you are to present the lines and the emotions depicted in the photograph in their best light.
That said, the mount is also important.
Dibond mounting was developed to provide photographers with a mount to exhibit their work, which is both rigid and light in weight.
What is a Dibond Mount?
Dibond is a sturdy composite of Aluminum and PVC which is why it’s also known as aluminum dibond printing. It consists of a compressed composite panel between two Aluminum plates. It is strong, durable and surprisingly light, and it is a good compromise between Aluminum and some of the softer materials. It is also very versatile in that it can be easily hung onto various systems.
Dibond is only about 3mm thick, so it cannot be clearly seen from the side of the print. This means that it won’t change the aesthetics of the artwork. For your art prints, you can print the photo on any paper of your choice, which can then be pasted onto the Dibond. That way, the art can retain all its original properties (feel, appearance, tonality, durability, the dynamism of contrasts and colors, etc.) You get the benefits of the backing and it delivers the message better.
Mounted print definition
A mounted print creates a backing for the focused picture or artwork, meaning that it becomes a lot more visible and impactful. Read on to see how to apply this to printing on dibond:
How to do Dibound Mounting
Dibond can be mounted with a lot of different materials, depending on the effect you want to create on the surface that you’re placing the Dibond on.
Here are a few Dibond mounting options and how you can do them:
SPLIT BATTEN MOUNTING
An MDF batten is about 9mm thick, so it will not add any significant width to the Dibond material and can keep the thin appearance of the picture or painting, making it a great choice for dibond backing. This will give your artwork the illusion of ‘floating’ from the surface of the wall.
To install a split batten fixing,
- At the center point, cut the batten at 45° using a mitre or ripping saw, depending on the length of your batten.
- Countersink the lower wall section so that no screw heads are above the plane surface of the lower split batten
- Glue or screw the top section to the rear side of the panel. This will slide into the same cut on the lower section and create a powerful downward action forcing the panel into a tight position
- The split panel moves over the wall mounted section to lock in.
- Once in place, the sign is fixed
SHADOW BOX MOUNTING
A shadow box frame also helps give your picture a floating illusion. It applies a perfect finish to your photo and can be combined with a Dibond mount, as well as other types of mount. This is a frame that is both discrete and modern, and that really enhances your work.
To hang a Dibond material on a shadow box frame,
- Fasten a picture hanger diagonally across the top corners of the shadow box picture frames you want to hang. Use a very small tack nail or hot glue to mount these hangers on the frame. Now, you have an easy way to hang the shadow box frames.
- Place the shadow box frames on the wall and decide where you want to hang them. Make a small light pencil mark along the edge and side, effectively tracing the corner of the frame on the wall.
- Measure the length from the corner on the shadow box frames (diagonally) to the end of the hanging bracket, to find the distance from the corner you want to hang the nail.
A subframe is an Aluminum profile attached to the reverse of the mounted material. This is then hung onto a batten fixed to the wall.
Subframes are best for hanging large prints and Perspex mounts.
A subframe moulding will also give the impression of your artwork “floating” from the wall. The moulding is approximately 20mm wide.
Those who appreciate a clean gallery look can also mount their picture by using the subframe with a rope suspension system. For this, hook the cable end with the suspension under the rail, the other end you can attach to the ceiling or wall as preferred. This is especially great for exhibitions!
DIY DIBOND MOUNTING
If you get your Dibond without any mounting extras, don’t fret. You got this. You can design and build a float hanging system that allows you to exhibit a frameless panel and allows the painting to be the focal point without any distractions from a hanging apparatus.
What you’ll need
- Disposable Rags
- Sharpie Markers
- Safety Glasses
- Cut Resistant Gloves
- Tape Rule
- Sanding Sponge
- Metal Jig Saw Blades
- Cutting Kit for Metal
- Epoxy, 30 Minute
- Dibond pre-cut panels
How to do DIY Dibond Mounting
- Cut two small Dibond plates and attach them together with a compatible adhesive. You should make one of the plates ¼ inches larger than the other, to provide a rim for the fastener on the wall
- Drill a small notch in the middle of the bigger rim. This is what will hold the screw that connects the mounting panels to the wall and hold up the picture.
- Smoothen the jagged edges with a sanding sponge.
- Find the exact center at the back of the panel, then position the smaller plate at a 6° angle to all the corners. This will ensure that the weight of the board is evenly distributed and it doesn’t slope or slant when you mount it.
- For permanent installation, cut and remove the protective film from inside the square mark on panel and plates. For temporary installation, do not remove the protective film from panel. Instead, use RTV Silicone on the protective film, so that these hanger modules can be removed when you want to, without damaging the substrate.
- To ensure strong adhesion, lightly clean all three surfaces with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Mix the 30-minute Epoxy in 50/50 (resin and hardener) by volume and follow the instructions on the bottle. Epoxy is a great bet if you want a strong, durable hold. However, you can try other adhesives with firm hold.
- Apply the mix on the center of the panel first, and then on the smaller plate (the one without the notch).
- Position the plate precisely on the panel center, glued side to glued side.
- Add more epoxy to the other side, and to the larger plate, then place it on top of the smaller plate. By overhanging the larger plate on top of the lower plate, a ¼ inch rim will be created and the notch should be facing down the center of the panel.
- Make sure the working surface under the panel is completely flat and stable, then place some weight with adequate pressure on the top of plates and allow at least 24 hours for the epoxy to cure. Then, check the panel for balance.
- Remove excess epoxy and clean the surfaces with isopropyl alcohol. Then, you can hang the frame.
The above method is intended for large and heavy painting panels with sizing greater than 48” x 60”, and weight of 10 to 25 lbs. For smaller pictures, use a sawtooth hanger on the pre-cut panels, and glue in place with RTV Silicone, which has an even and a lighter spread for firm hold.
However, you need to allow at least 24 hours for RTV to cure after application. After that time, check the panel for balance.
The hanger module is now ready to be mounted on any composite surface.
To add profile depth and enhance the floating impression, you can:
- Cut two pieces of foam-board with two pieces of double-sided tape, then attach them and place them on the lower back of the panel to create ¼ inch of space between the panel and the wall.