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4 Tips for Keeping Your Prints Pristine

4 Tips for Keeping Your Prints Pristine

We know that buying high-quality, fine art prints is an investment, so we want to help make sure your investment lasts as long as possible. All of the materials we use for our prints are museum quality and fully archival, rated to last over 100 years without fading, but that doesn’t mean that fading or discoloration can’t happen sooner if the prints are not cared for properly. 

1. Store Prints Safely Before Framing

Canvas prints are ready to hang on the wall as soon as they arrive, but paper prints will need to be framed. If you aren’t able to get your print framed soon after you get it, you’ll want to make sure you are storing it safely in the meantime. 

Keep Prints Flat 

We store and ship all prints smaller than 30”x40” flat. We use high quality, heavyweight papers, and smaller sizes cannot be rolled without risking damage or becoming difficult to flatten back out. If your print arrived to you flat, keep it flat until you get it framed. 

Do Not Store With Acidic Materials

A digital mockup of a canvas print of a vintage photograph of three ships at sea, hanging above a desk

Be careful with how you store your prints for extended periods of time. The materials used for shipping prints are not intended for long-term storage, as cardboard can cause papers to yellow over time. While our prints are shipped to you inside of archival sleeves, it’s still best to not take the chance and to remove the print from the cardboard once you get it. 

2. Keep Your Prints Clean 

Keeping your prints clean will help them stay looking brand new. Prints are delicate, of course, so you’ll want to be careful with the methods you use.

Canvas Prints 

Canvas prints have an archival varnish over the surface which helps protect the print and makes cleaning pretty easy. All you’ll need to do to clean your canvas print is gently wipe it with a damp cloth. Be sure to wipe gently, without pressing into the canvas, as this could cause a dent. Distilled water is the best option if you have it, but if not regular tap water will work fine as well, just steer clear of any cleaning sprays. 

Paper Prints

The surface of paper prints is very delicate, so prevention is the name of the game in keeping paper prints clean. If you need to store a paper print for any period of time, keeping it inside an archival print sleeve is your best option. This will prevent any dust or dirt from settling on the surface of the print.

If you do need to clean any dust off of the surface of the print, resist the urge to simply wipe it off! Wiping the face of the print is likely to cause scuffs or flaking. Instead, use canned air or a gentle air blower to remove any dust from the surface. 

3. Minimize UV Exposure

Framed print of a photograph that matches the decor of the room

While we all love homes filled with natural light, it can be a killer for prints! It’s always a good idea to avoid hanging a print in a spot that receives significant sunlight, as it can cause a print to fade. When planning where you hang your prints, take a day to watch how the sunlight moves through your home and try to work around it when you can. 

Frame with UV Glass 

Framing your paper prints with UV glass is a great way to minimize the risk of UV damage. It can be difficult to be sure what type of glass is used in pre-made frames, so if you want to be certain, we’d suggest working with a custom framer to make sure you’re getting the best materials possible. 

4. Frame with Acid-Free Materials

The frame you choose can greatly affect the life of your print. Cheaper framing materials aren’t always archival and can cause fading and discoloration. Doing some research before picking out a frame can help you get as much life as possible out of your print. 

Custom Framing

If you have any concerns about the materials used in pre-made frames on the shelf, working with a custom framer is a great way to ensure you are getting a frame made with fully archival, acid-free materials. Knowledgeable framers will also be able to talk you through all the options to make sure you can find something that fits your budget and style.

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