Close up of Artefex Aluminum ACM Panel Honeycomb Gridpanel CCM Copper Composite Material Panel

Why Paint On Aluminum Composite Material Panels?

Why Paint on Aluminum?


Lets start with the basics. ACM stands for Aluminum Composite Material.

With so many options available to artists it can be hard deciding exactly what to paint on. As with most things in life, its a balance between cost and quality.

Before you decide on a painting surface your should ask yourself; what are you trying to achieve with this project, are you painting a study, or a final piece? Where is this painting going? Does this painting have to travel?

What are you trying to achieve with this project?

Is this a personal project that you are making for yourself? Are you creating a lasting gift a one time study or a final masterpiece? There are cheaper options than Artefex ACM panels, but there are no better quality surfaces than Artefex panels. What Artefex panels provide is a piece of mind. Artefex panels are a testament to the quality of your work and add value to your painting. They provide the security to know that your work will stand the test of time. There are well documented problems with stretched canvas and wood panels that you can mitigate with aluminum backed panels.

Where is this painting going?

Are you absolutely certain that this painting is going to be hung in a climate controlled environment? Stretched canvas on wooden stretchers is under the mercy of the climate they are placed in. Have you ever had to re-stretch your painting soon after it was hung? Have you ever painstakingly taken out staple after staple hoping that your work doesn’t get damaged during the process? Chances are you have if you have ever painted on a stretched canvas. Relative humidity and temperature changes are the main culprits. The wood used in your standard stretcher bars will expand and contrast with changes to relative humidity. When it comes to temperature changes in the environment, ACM panels are superior. Expansion and contraction of material due to changes in temperature, also called thermal expansion, is mitigated with ACM panels. ACM panels do expand and contract with changes in temperature, but they do so in much lesser capacity than wood and thus provide a more stable painting surface. ACM panels are absolutely stable, and will never have to be re-stretched.

Does this painting have to travel?

Consider this scenario: Your painting is complete and your customer is anxiously waiting to receive it. They plan to prominently display your masterpiece in a climate controlled environment. Now all you have to do is get it to them. You carefully pack your painting in sunny California, and send it of, in the middle of December to Buffalo, New York. The painting arrives undamaged, but the customer calls you and tells you, there is something wrong with the painting. The painting has a bow in it! You considered everything except one thing. When you shipped your painting from California, where it was 74 F, and 24% RH, to Buffalo, NY, where the it was 15 F and 62% RH, there was a major shift in the climate. Now you can get special shipping boxes, that are climate controlled, but why not just use a painting surface that will have a minimal reaction to environmental changes around it? When you ship your work, you have no control over the environmental changes your work will go through.

What is ACM?

ACM stands for Aluminum Composite Material. ACM panels are built with two strong sheets of aluminum bonded to a solid polyethylene core. The unique composition of these 3 mm (1/8″) panels makes them lightweight, dimensionally stable and strong. The light weight and thin profile of these panels makes them ideal for plein air and studio painting. They transport easily and store perfectly in tight spaces. The 3mm ACM is the basic support, suitable for sizes up to 24 inches. In addition to the 3mm ACM Artefex also offers, 4mm CCM, and 6mm ACM Gridpanel. CCM stands for Copper Composite Material. CCM Panels are built with one strong sheet of copper and another sheet of aluminum bonded to a solid black polyethylene core. The aluminum side has a mill (metallic) finish and the copper veneer is available in either a natural or abraded finish. ACM Gridpanel is a lightweight but rigid and durable (ACM)—two strong sheets of .040″ aluminum bonded to a corrugated polyethylene core. The corrugated polyethylene core makes these panels ultra rigid and lighter than a standard ACM panel of the same thickness.

Artefex ACM panels offer a superior support for painting and mounting compared to wood panels because ACM panels have very low response to environmental changes, such as relative humidity (RH) and temperature. These are professional panels for painting when primed with acrylic, alkyd or oil-based primers or for mounting canvas and paper.

Artefex ACM panels offer piece of mind at a great value. So when you decide to choose your next painting surface, will you choose value or just another stretched canvas.