What to do when you receive your prints or pictures.

How to treat your prints when you get them

Table of Contents

How to treat your prints when they arrive:

Your prints are best stored in the tube they arrived in, and kept in a dry place until you need them.

When it comes time to frame your prints, remove them from the tube and place them on a flat clean surface. The prints will maintain the shape of the tube for a short period of time after unpacking.

Below: The best way to unpack and flatten your prints after you receive them.

Add some weights to the corners or sides of the print by placing them in the middle and sliding them to the edge. Make sure they are clean and free from dust.

Do not reverse roll or try to fold your prints flat. A little weight and some time will see them return to their flat state.

A Guide to Keeping Your Prints and Pictures Looking Their Best

Congratulations on your beautiful new prints and pictures! Now that you've brought them home, here's a guide to help you care for them properly and ensure they stay vibrant and enjoyable for years to come.

Enemies of Artwork: Light, Moisture, and Dust

The main culprits behind fading and damage to prints and pictures are light, moisture, and dust. Here's how to minimise their impact:

  • Light: Sunlight is the most damaging form of light. Avoid hanging your artwork in direct sunlight. UV rays can cause colours to fade significantly over time. Opt for diffused natural light or artificial lighting with UV filters.

  • Moisture: High humidity can cause warping, mould growth, and even damage the adhesive in framed pieces. Aim for a moderate humidity level (around 40-50%) in the room where you display your artwork. Avoid hanging prints near bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas.

  • Dust: Dust buildup can dull the vibrancy of your prints. Use a soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloth to gently dust your artwork periodically. Never use cleaning solutions or water directly on the print surface.

Framing Matters

  • Framing Materials: Choose frames with acid-free mats and backing boards. Regular cardboard can emit acidic gasses that can damage your artwork over time. Opt for UV-protective glass or plexiglass to further shield your prints from light damage.

  • Sealing: Ensure your framed artwork has a proper seal around the back to prevent dust and moisture from entering.

Handling with Care

  • Wash your hands: Before handling your prints, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid transferring oils or dirt from your fingers.

  • Hold by the edges: Always support the print by the edges to avoid fingerprints or creases.

  • Storage: If you're not displaying a print, store it flat in an acid-free folder or archival box.

Additional Tips:

  • Rotate your artwork: To prevent uneven fading, consider rotating your displayed prints occasionally.

  • Professional cleaning: For valuable or delicate pieces, consult a professional conservator for cleaning recommendations.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure your cherished prints and pictures stay bright, beautiful, and a source of enjoyment for generations to come.