Frequently asked questions

If your question isn’t answered or you have a comment to share, please contact us by using the form below.

Q. Can I order directly from Ampersand?

Not at this time. Except for custom panels, we only sell direct to dedicated art supply stores. As a manufacturer, we work hard with our retail partners so they can provide you with competitive prices on Ampersand products. To find a store near you or an online dealer, use our store locator.

Q. How can I carry Ampersand products in my store?

If you have an art supply store with a physical location, you are eligible to carry Ampersand products. Please contact us at retailsupport@ampersandart.com for more information.

Q. How can I be a featured artist?

We are always interested in seeing artwork that has been created using Ampersand products. Occasionally, Ampersand features artists to showcase their artwork on social media or our website. To be considered as an Ampersand Featured Artist, please submit this form.

Q. How can I be an Ampersand Artist Ambassador?

Applications are not being accepted at this time for the Ampersand Ambassador program. Please submit this form to join the interest list.

Q. Will Ampersand sponsor me?

Ampersand does not currently have an artist sponsorship program.

Q. Is it possible to get a custom size panel?

Yes. Ampersand can make custom size panels up to 48" x 90" with cradles and cross braces up to 3 inches deep in any of Ampersand's Museum Series surfaces. Currently, custom sizes are not available for The Artist Panel Canvas Texture, Primed Smooth, Birch Wood Panel, Unprimed Basswood, or Floaterframes. For custom pricing information, please email bords@ampersandart.com. For orders outside of the U.S., customs duty fees will apply. Because we handcraft all custom panels, please plan on an approximate 4-week turnaround time for custom orders.

Q. How do you cut Ampersand panels to a different size?

If you do not have access to industrial equipment such as a panel saw, you can use a sliding table saw with an ATB (Alternating Top Bevel) blade that has 40-80 carbide teeth to cut an uncradled panel. We recommend cutting the panel with the coated surface face up, making certain that the points of the blade are cutting down through the painting surface and not up through the back of the board. The latter may cause unsafe movement of the panel and can also result in a ragged edge. After cutting the panel, use 150-200 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges. Other equipment like a band saw or a skill saw can be also used. Cutting a clean straight line may be more difficult using these cutting tools but can still work if set up properly. NOTE: If you are uncomfortable using power tools, we recommend seeking assistance from a carpenter or your local cabinet or frame shop.

Q. What are the differences between the various Ampersand panels?

Discover your perfect panel here and learn more about the characteristics of Ampersand panels and suggestions for media to use with them. Although there are suggestions for media uses, these are not strict rules and you may find that you like using a particular media on a particular panel.

Q. Why is Hardbord used as the substrate for most Ampersand panels?

Conservators agree that a painting on a well-prepared rigid panel will outlast those on flexible supports, such as canvas or paper. Within the range of available wooden panel options, some are more warp and moisture-resistant than others. Ampersand's Hardbord is much less prone to warping than other wooden panels, due to its high density. Hardbord even offers support to your artwork in a thin 1/8" format. This makes Hardbord much more manageable and portable than the 1" thickness recommended for a solid wood panel or ¾" thickness recommended for an uncradled plywood panel. Hardbord has no wood grain, so it will not crack or split due to humidity and temperature changes. It also accepts size and ground coatings well without fiber-raising. Visit our Hardbord Product Page to learn more.

Q. What is Archival-Seal™?

Archiva-Seal is an advanced barrier seal technology applied between the wood panel and professional painting grounds of Ampersand's Museum Series Panels. Ampersand developed Archiva-Seal™ to prevent Support Induced Discoloration (SID) and ensure that the painting ground and your artwork remain acid-free over time. Only Ampersand uses Archiva-Seal for a truly archival artist’s panel.

Q. Do I need to seal the back of an Ampersand panel?

It is not necessary to seal the back of most standard Ampersand panels unless the panel will be subjected to wide fluctuation of humidity and/or temperature. If you are using a raw wood panel, such as Unprimed Basswood and Birch Wood Panel, we recommend applying the same number of size and priming coats to the back of the panel as are applied to the face of the panel. Ampersand’s unprimed Hardbord has a very high density. This means it also has high moisture and warp resistance. For this reason, only the face of Hardbord needs to be prepared. If you wish to seal the back of a panel to prevent moisture absorption, pigmented shellac offers good protection. If you would like to prime and paint on the back of a panel, follow the same instructions for sizing and priming as are recommended for preparing the face of the panel.

Q. Can I frame my flat, uncradled panel in a Floaterframe?

Yes, but only Ampersand's 7/8" Floaterframes include a riser block system for this process. These risers allow you to frame artwork created on flat 1/8" or ¼" flat panels. There are also risers that extend ¾" cradled artwork or stretcher bars to the correct 7/8" depth. These risers are not sold separately and are included ONLY with 7/8" Floaterframes (all colors and styles). NOTE: 1.5" Floaterframes are designed for 1.5" depth cradled artwork and do not include riser blocks for flat and uncradled artwork. Confirm you have the appropriate frame to accommodate your artwork before purchase.

Q. What can I do to prevent damage to Ampersand panels?

The precise corners and edges of Ampersand panels can become damaged if they are knocked or dropped. If you order Ampersand panels and they arrive with damage, please contact the seller from where you purchased the panels. There are also a few steps that you can take in your studio to minimize damage to your Ampersand panels. One option is to lightly sand the edge where the face of the panel meets the cradle. You can also finish the cradles with acrylic medium, paste wax, or another treatment to add a layer of protection. Lastly, when moving panels around or in storage, rest your panels on a soft surface such as cloth or foam. This ensures that they are not resting directly on a hard surface.

Q. How can I repair a damaged corner on an Ampersand panel?

If a corner has been damaged on one of your panels, you can rebuild it using wood filler, modeling paste, or even acrylic gesso. Place tape around the damaged corner creating a square support edge, fill the space with the filler, allow it dry, remove the tape, and sand it square and flat. Apply gesso over the patch so you can repaint the area if necessary. If a corner has "spread" after being dropped, you can iron it flat using a household iron on a high setting with plenty of pressure. Cover the surface of the corner with a heat-resistant paper or fabric so that the surface of the panel does not scorch. If the painting surface is also damaged, you will need to reapply the gesso or appropriate surface coating. If the panel is Claybord, Scratchbord, or Aquabord, please contact us at bords@ampersandart.com to request a patch kit. The patch kit is a small amount of the surface coating that you can apply to the damaged area for a perfect match.

Q. May I make a product suggestion?

Yes, please! Ampersand Art Supply is always interested in hearing from you. If you have an idea for a product that you would like to see offered by Ampersand, email bords@ampersandart.com.

Q. How do I seal my watercolors so I can display them without glass?

Seal finished watercolors or gouache with several light coats of spray varnish (or fixative) carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Q. Can I try a sample of a particular Ampersand panel?

If you would like to try a small sample of one of our products, please email us at bords@ampersandart.com. Restrictions and shipping may apply.

Q. Why does the product label have a different profile than the website?

Some of our product labels highlight the size of the cradle depth. Our website profile menu includes the total profile measurement of the panel and the cradle combined.

Have another question? Contact us using the form below.

We do not sell your information or use it for any other purpose than to respond to your request. If you selected to receive communications from Ampersand Art Supply regarding promotions, marketing, artist features, blog updates, giveaways, new products and sale events your email address will be added to our email list in Constant Contact. All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Please add 9 and 8.