One of the most popular finishing techniques for a clean, modern look for prints and photos is face-mounting the image to acrylic. It’s a technique that’s been perfected by printers such as Bumblejax for images and graphics displayed in homes, commercial buildings, retail spaces and more.
Check out the video above for step-by-step instructions and helpful hacks on face-mounting like a pro using photo-quality media and a double-sided adhesive. In this video, we chose LexJet 11 mil Blockout PolyGloss for its excellent color reproduction, lay flat finish and gray backing for extra opacity. We face-mounted it with the all-new LexJet CrystalClear Permanent Adhesive (see complete project supply list below).
Here’s an overview of the process:
Trim print and adhesive. Add a quarter-inch bleed to your entire image before printing it. Once printed, trim to the edge of the bleed on three sides, but leave a 2-inch leader on one edge. Trim a piece of adhesive to match the size of the print, and place it on top of the print.
Attach print to adhesive. Separate and trim a small strip of the adhesive on the leader edge and secure it in place with a squeegee. Place print and adhesive into the laminator and wipe the print down with a no-lint cloth or gloves. As the print passes through the laminator, peel the adhesive back.
Prepare acrylic. Attach a 5-inch-wide leaderboard (that’s at least the length of the print) to the acrylic with a piece of tape. Remove the pre-mask from one side of the acrylic using a piece of tape to lift the pre-mask off the acrylic. Twist tape to secure it to an empty tube, and wrap the pre-mask off the acrylic, using even pressure while wrapping the tube. Clean the acrylic with rubbing alcohol, using a cloth. Use a flashlight to ensure any particles are removed and the surface is spotless.
Adhere print to acrylic. Place the print face-down on the clean acrylic. Align the print with equal bleed on the three trimmed edges. Secure the leading edge of the print to the leaderboard with tape. Flip the print over and attach a small piece of electrical tape to the center edge of the print to gently pull of the second release liner of the adhesive. Secure a small section of the release liner, as shown in the video. At the laminator, secure the electrical tape to a tube to help wind up the release liner. As the acrylic and print pass through the laminator, use one hand to keep tension on the tube that’s winding up the release liner while using your other hand to wipe the acrylic with a lint-free cloth to keep it clean.
Finishing the print. Place the acrylic face down, and trim each bleed edge using a new, sharp blade. Remove leaderboard and trim the final edge. Peel the acrylic’s remaining pre-mask using the same technique with the tape and empty roll. Clean face of acrylic with alcohol and lint-free cloth. Add hanging hardware as desired.
- Print on LexJet 11 mil Blockout PolyGloss
- LexJet CrystalClear Permanent Adhesive
- No-lint cloth or gloves
- Empty tube
- Rubbing alcohol
- New, sharp X-acto or utility knife