3 Tips for Photography & Art Care that Everyone Should Know
Are you about to frame a piece of art? Are you deciding on the best place to hang a photo? Well, whether you’re thinking in terms of home, office, hospital, or museum, there are a few art tips and photo techniques that everyone needs to know. Our goal with photography and art care is to help you understand some basic ways you can preserve your precious pieces for the long haul.
Watch that Glass!
Tip Number 1: Never put glass in direct contact with pictures (photos, art, or otherwise). Within as little as five years, damage can occur to your framed piece. You may have experienced the following example yourself: sometimes our customers will bring us an older photo placed directly on the glass; when we try to remove the photo, some of the image has literally stuck to the glass. It’s actually print emulsion that adheres to the glass. In other words, the image from the photo transfers to the glass, damaging the print.
This happens a lot in areas of high humidity, like the South where we are located or even in bathrooms. The glass adherence can serve as a really cool craft project. But it’s not so great when you’re trying to save a photo of your great-grandparents wedding or your baby’s first Christmas.
The solution? Use mat boards or spacers. Come see us for those. We’ll show how best to design with them and avoid any further damage.
Tip Number 2: Never use ammonia cleaners to clean the glass. Be sure to check out the details on this in a spring cleaning post we added recently. The gist is that both frames and glass often have traces of plastic in them. Ammonia breaks down plastics and even softens them. See where we’re going with this? A damaged frame or glass can lead to damaged photos and artwork.
In fact, ammonia isn’t exactly good for prints, photos, or art either. Many of these items contain some quantity of petroliate distillates of some kind (plastics) as a component of the finished product. For example, paint pigments in some paints are produced with PVC.
“But I don’t use ammonia to clean my glass,” you’re thinking to yourself. Well, did you know that most mainstream glass cleaners include ammonia in their products? That’s why some glass cleaners even specify “ammonia-free.”
The solution? Definitely use ammonia-free glass cleaner. We recommend an ammonia-free version of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Glass Cleaner, Lemon Verbena, 24-Ounce.
Beware of Food
Tip Number 3: Be mindful of artwork and photography near eating and food prep surfaces. This is the strangest phenomenon, but if there is a piece of art or a photo within eyesight of food, whether it is being served or prepared, it has about a 99% chance of getting food on it. If you doubt this at all, walk into any restaurant with photos or artwork on the wall. Especially if it’s near a table where people eat, and don’t forget to eyeball the bar area too. You usually don’t even have to look closely. Chunks of food and splashes are typically evident right away. This is particularly good to know for items that don’t have glass to protect them, such as oil paintings.
The solution? You might want to consider moving that 17th century Dutch heirloom to another room away from the kitchen and dining areas.
Was this post about photography and art care helpful to you? Do you have any related tips to share with us? Post your thoughts in the comments.