Currently, art paintings are printed on various superior quality photo gloss papers to enhance their durability. However, the quality of your print depends on how much you care for it.
Storing your print in a sealed frame protects it from humidity, dust, and direct sunlight which causes fading.
Many art prints get damaged for lack of proper care and handling below are tips to help you prolong the lifespan of your design prints.
Handling Paper Prints
Many print companies discourage you from handling your prints with bare hands and recommend the use of cotton gloves. The latter helps prevent them from accumulating oil and other contaminants from your hands.
If you cannot find gloves, ensure your hands are clean and dry before handling your prints. If you have long fingernails, avoid touching the central part of your prints to avoid creating holes and damaging them.
Remember, un-mounted prints are more susceptible to damage than mounted ones. Lift them carefully to avoid creases and dents since repairing them can be an arduous task. Avoid trimming the borders of your art prints as they come in handy when you need to handle them.
What’s more, the borders come in handy when it comes to placing them beneath frames. If you Buy Poster Prints Online, you’ll notice that artists leave their signatures along the borders. You don’t want to trim your borders and lose all that information.
How to Store Prints
Often, many people don’t store their art prints appropriately. How can you store your prints to guarantee durability?
Matting and Mounting Prints
Where possible, buy mounted art prints whether you intend to display or hang your prints at home. Incorporate the services of an expert and request them to use acid-free and archival materials in the dry matting and mounting process.
In the matting process, a 4-ply mat will be ideal for 16 X 20 prints. You can also choose a double or 8-ply mat for large prints for enhanced protection. If your prints are larger, you will need to reinforce them to prevent them from sagging to the center over time.
Utilize an extra layer of acid-free foam core at the back side of the mount board if your print is larger than 16 X 20 inches. Some print artists and retailers use archival tapes to attach prints on a mat.
While this may not damage your print, it can dry it out over the years eventually causing them to fall off the mat. Whenever possible, avoid the use of tapes.
Office or Home Storage
Ensure the art print remains in a mounted frame and avoid storing two prints in close contact. If you have giclee prints, store them in a horizontal position and in different folders. Inspect your print storage area for insects such as cockroaches. These tend to diminish the aesthetic value of your art prints.
If your budget allows, you can glaze your prints. Glazing is more effective when it comes to protecting your print from abrasion. Glass is heavy and can have glare but you can choose non-reflective glass. While you may want to use non-glare glass, sometimes it’s not clear and this can blur the print’s details.
Cleaning Your Frames
Whether you choose glass or acrylic print glazing, ensure that your frame is clean and free from any insects. All you need is to dust the frame using a fine duster or soft rag. Clean regularly to avoid build-up of dirt.
If you are using a spraying cleaner, don’t spray the print directly. Instead, spray on your rag or duster and proceed to clean. In order to preserve your acrylic glazing, avoid the use of commercial glass cleaners and abrasive soaps especially those that contain alcohol and ammonia. Gently wipe the surface using a soft rag or sponge and dry using a soft lint-free cloth.
Never clean or wet your prints directly if you want them to last long. Many of the available high-quality prints are not cheap and you want them to serve you for many years. Practice these simple guidelines for guaranteed print durability.