This is an ancient technique, but uses today's technology and new materials. Instead of framing my acrylic paintings - buying costly mats and mounting in old style frames and behind glass - the galleries that exhibit my work prefer my new look.
After a coat of fresh varnish, I glue my painting on a Cheap Joe's 1.5 inch deep wood panel. The end result is visually modern and clean looking, light weight and no heavy glass to break (or Plexiglas to scratch). And much easier to handle for shipping. The overall benefits might encourage you to produce more paintings, avoiding the high cost of framing.
Let me point out - not everyone will agree with me on this technique. It has worked twenty years for me... and here is a Step-by-Step, so you can do it yourself!
Cheap Joe's Pretty Good Cradled Wood Panel - 1.5" deep
Dark grey paint
Half-inch thick piece of Gatorboard
1. Work with the Wood Panel first - Paint the four side edges and one inch all around the top edge with a dark grey paint.
2. The paper painting has already been pre-measured and trimmed a half-inch smaller than the panel - so when the paper painting is glued on top, a narrow strip of the top dark grey surrounds the paper. The painting appears to "float" on top. I don't align the paper edge to the edge - too difficult to line up perfectly. Besides, I like a little bit of the dark edge showing.
3. Glue down using regular gel medium. Flatten and roll out any air bubbles, then wipe off the excess gel medium with a damp cloth.
4. Next, sandwich all this together to assure a tight bond - on top of the painting, put a sheet of 4 ml no-stick plastic sheeting and a half-inch piece of Gatorboard, to act as a press. Now comes the weight for the press - anything from bricks to gallon cans of water, books, etc.
5. After 24 hours, disassemble the weight, board, plastic sheet (save for the next time) and the whole assembly will be complete!
The whole mounting time is under 10 minutes... then wait for 24 hours. Don't skip any step. It will be surprisingly perfect!
Mount the back with hanging hardware and off to the gallery it goes! This all sounds like a cooking recipe because I actually read cookbooks... pitiful.