Step 10: Attaching a Dust Seal


This step is optional, but attaching a dust seal will add an extra layer of protection to the artwork, as well as giving the framed work a very professional, finished appearance. A dust seal is simply a sheet of paper glue to the back of the frame.

Glue and Trim

I use medium-weight kraft paper for my dust seals. This paper comes in big rolls and will last you a very long time. Cut a sheet of this paper a little larger than the size of the finished frame.

Take a small container of some sort (I use little Dixie cups) and half-fill it with water. With the Elmer's White Glue, run a single bead of glue all around the back of the frame. Dip a foam brush in the cup of water to dampen it, then gently spread the glue with the damp brush.


Glued on dust seal

This will both spread the glue and thin it, to allow it to soak into the paper and form a better seal. Lay the kraft paper over it and press down on the edges. Leave a little slack in the paper so it can expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes.


Crease the dust seal along the edge of the frame

Give the glue a day or so to completely dry. When you're ready to trim the dust seal, first crease the paper along the edge of the frame so you can see where to cut.

Then take a sharp knife (I use a modeling scalpel, but a sharp utility knife should work, too) and a metal ruler, and trim the dust seal flush with the edges of the frame.


Trim flush with the frame


Finished dust seal

Next: Attaching Hanging Hardware.