Care of your print

Suggested Care Of Your Print

Storage

Remove prints carefully from any outer packaging taking care not to buckle. Store away from light. Never store un-mounted prints directly on top of each other; separate them with acid free tissue or paper on either side. Never store or leave prints flat on the floor. Elevate them so that air can circulate around them. Framed prints that are kept in storage should be cleaned by experienced persons on a regular basis. Accumulation of dust containing airborne mould spores can cause deterioration of the print.

Handling

Always handle prints with clean hands; natural body oils can do permanent damage to paper and other fine art materials. To avoid crimps and creases, always use two hands to lift the print. Never touch the image area or drag anything across it. A scratch or thumbprint is permanent and cannot be repaired. Never use pressure-sensitive tape anywhere on the print.

Heat

Never hang or store a print over or next to a radiator or heat register. Do not hang a piece of art over a fireplace either; the combination of heat, soot and smoke can cause extensive damage in a very short period of time.

Humidity

Humidity is a major enemy of paper and prints. The chief danger of humidity is mould, which grows in environments where the relative humidity is greater than 70%. According to museum curators, 50% humidity is ideal for works of art. Always maintain proper humidity levels wherever prints are being stored or hung, and never store or hang prints in damp basements or cellars.

Framing

Never allow a print to rest directly on glass. If your print has not been mounted, it will make contact with the glass and condensation will form between the print and the glass and will ultimately destroy the print. Always ensure air circulation behind your print, and be sure to check for dampness on the outside of any wall where you are hanging your prints. When arranging for your print to be framed, insist on the use of archival quality acid free materials if possible. If you use a Guild Commended Framer who has qualifications recognised by the Fine Art Trade Guild, you may add to the cost, but will enable your print to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Light

All light will eventually cause some fading, even though archival, fade resistant inks have been used. Never keep your print in direct sunlight or opposite a window. Avoid reflected light, too; the ultraviolet rays it contains can be very harmful to inks and paper. Fluorescent lights are probably the most potent source of ultraviolet rays. When framing, the use of ultraviolet protective glass is a good option.

Cleaning your framed print

To clean your framed print, remove it from the wall and place it flat on a table or other stable horizontal surface. Use a soft, lint-free cloth or a soft brush to clean your frame. Harsh chemicals like glass cleaner can cause damage. Clean glass by spraying cleaner onto a soft cloth and then wiping the glass to prevent liquids from seeping into the frame.