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Fine Art Print – Ways to Protect Your Print From Damage

Congratulations on the purchase of your new art print. With the new inks and papers on the market today, most quality prints can last up to 80 years. This means that your new print should be around for your enjoyment for quite a few years. There are though, three main enemies to the continued enjoyment of your new print. How do you prevent these enemies from shortening the life of your print? In this article I will discuss these three enemies and simple ways to prevent them from causing possible permanent damage to your print.


famous limited edition prints, Light is one of the main causes of paper deterioration. Because paper is made up of a plant product (fiber/cellulose) high exposure to light causes oxidation to occur. The process of oxidation will in return cause the paper to yellow changing it appearance. The ink that was used will also fade with high exposure to light. In order to prevent this type of damage display your print in an area away from a source of direct (natural and manmade) light. The use of ultraviolet shielding glass or conservation glass will help protect your print from this type of damage.


The environment in which you keep your print is important. The contact between excessive moisture (such as in the kitchen or bathroom) with the cellulose of the paper will create the perfect environment for the growth of mold. This will produce what is called “foxing” (small brown spots) and will need to be removed by a professional. Lack of moisture can also become a problem. It will cause the paper to become brittle and crack affecting your prints appearance and value. With this in mind it is best to provide your print with a stable environment. Ensure the lack of extreme changes in temperature and moisture.


Today almost all prints are done on neutral-ph paper. For this reason, any time your prints comes in contact with acidic paper pulp, such as a cardboard backing or an acidic mat, it will be susceptible to damage. Staining, as a result of the acid transferring to your print will occur. To prevent this from happening use only acid-free,100% archival-quality, or conservation paper or material.

The materials needed to follow the suggestions mentioned in this article are available at any establishment that provides framing supplies. These simple suggestions will help ensure that your print will be around for many years of enjoyment.

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