Finishing the edges and back of an art panel

Do you recommend painting the edges of an ampersand board?. During the painting some of the oil paint got on the edge and some finger prints of paint are on the back. Should the edges and back be painted black? I want to be professional but I am wondering if the personal touches or smudges would be appreciated by the buyer. I have never sold before.

I wouldn’t worry about the back, any smudges there just make it look handmade and authentic. On an ampersand board, I might paint the edges with black acrylic before I start and not worry if some paint goes over the edge. Or I use whatever colored gesso I am using (if not white). I paint on canvas panels and usually paint my image over the edge. It looks good in a floater frame. If it’s going to be in a frame that overlaps the edge, then I wouldn’t worry about it at all.

I don’t think about the edges at all and I’ve never seen anyone else paint them! The paintings end up in frames anyhow. :slight_smile:

As the panel will end up in a frame I don’t think it matters, but I know what you mean about feeling uneasy. Sometimes you can get very thin marks off with turps and a soft cloth - fingerprints, for example.
The side edges definitely do not matter.
If the back is a real mess and you feel shy about it, you can cut a piece of crisp, brown wrapping paper fractionally smaller than the panel and adhere it to the back. Then put a label in the centre, or a business card if you have one, with your details and sign underneath it. Looks nice. I did that once when I got gesso and oil blotches all over the back. Shhh don’t tell the buyer :rofl:
I got the idea from looking through old paintings (19th century i would guess) in a junk yard type of place. Lots of those had paper adhered to the reverse.


Thank you Tara for your quick response, I feel better about having the handmade and authentic look now.

Karen I appreciate you noticing that I feel shy about it. Brown paper and a business card seems good to me. Thanks!

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Thank you Holly for your quick response.

Hey, thanks for this great idea! I have some blick panels that had taped labels applied, that had to be removed, and left nasty scuff marks - this sounds like a great fix!

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I like framing Ampersand gessobord panels in black floaters (with black Velcro). I use black magic marker to darken the edge - sometimes over a bit of paint (be careful not to chip it off). Less “dangerous” if the back is facing you so any mistakes will land on the back. I do this after varnishing so I can easily tell if it has been varnished :slight_smile: I sign with white pen when it sells. Hope this helps.

Johnna, I very much appreciate your suggestions about the magic marker and white pen. I am good to go over the hurdle of posting and hopefully selling. You are spot on with your share. Thanks!!

Hello, if you sell unframed art you should take care of all areas of painting that are visable to buyer before framing. I sell unframed canvases, i work on edges and back as i do front of canvas. When buyers receive painting it is ready to hang and all areas of painting are finished, pleasure to look and touch ( so i belive😸) I paint all 4 sides of canvas so that paint is not smeared anywhere, i cover back with glued brown shipping paper, attach hanging hooks and wire, before it is frame painting already stands out and is ready to hang on wall as it is. Thats my way of respecting my art and my buyers.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and actions to take. The care we show to our work and consideration of our buyers is of upmost importance. I will definitely take your advice.