How to Frame Lithographs

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Things You'll Need

  • Mat

  • Rice paper

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Starch paste

  • Paper

  • Book

  • Tape

  • Glass

  • Frame

When you frame your lithographic image, it is more for the safety of the work than for aesthetic appeal. Without proper framing, your lithographs can corrode and discolor quickly. The paper and ink used in lithograph works are sensitive to acids and sunlight. Proper framing should keep them away from acid and shielded from harsh light that will fade the color. Always choose your materials carefully, though. If you use the wrong materials in your framing project, you can ruin your lithographic piece of art.


Step 1

Purchase an acid-free framing mat. Cut two pieces of mat four inches wider than your lithograph. Cut a square window on one piece of mat that is the same size as the lithograph.

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Step 2

Place the cut piece of mat over the whole piece. Line up the corners of the mat. Lightly trace a rectangle shape onto the whole mat using the cut mat as a stencil.

Step 3

Cut two strips of acid-free rice paper (pure kozo) at 1-inch in length and 1/2-inch in width. Coat the two strips of paper in rice-based starch paste.

Step 4

Lay the lithograph on its face (over the whole mat). Bend the strips of rice paper in half lengthwise creating a paper hinge. Place the two paper hinges on the back of the paper at the top of the image (1/2 an inch from the edge of the lithograph) with the open side facing towards the bottom of the image.


Step 5

Flip the lithograph over and fit it into the pencil lines on the whole mat. Lay a piece of acid-free paper over the face of the lithograph. Lay a heavy book over the top of the paper and let it sit for an hour so the paste can dry.

Step 6

Lift the book and the acid-free paper. Place the piece of mat with the cut window over the lithograph. Line the edges of the mat together.


Step 7

Tape the top and bottom sides of the mat together using two strips of thin transparent tape. The tape will not mar the appearance of your frame, but it will prevent the sides of the mat from coming apart.

Step 8

Place the framing mat into a frame with UV-ray resistant glass. The UV-ray resistant glass protects your lithograph image from damaging rays of light. Place the backing of the frame right over the back of the mat and secure it in place using the holding mechanism on the frame.


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