How to: keep your picture frames in good condition

Written by chris pink on February 13, 2015 in Picture Framing

If you’re paying good money to have a picture or two framed, the last thing you want is to examine those frames in a couple of years’ time and discover troublesome issues.

There’s a lot you can do to keep your picture frames in sound condition. And, with that, here we go with this week’s blog…

Go easy with the chemicals

Much is said about the conservation of paintings, but not so much is mentioned about keeping frames in good order.

While it can be tempting to spray frames with the same stuff you use to polish the furniture, go easy – particularly if the wood is waxed. Polishing wood is usually a good idea, but most frames are waxed to some degree, and too much cleaning can destroy this layer, causing discolouring in the wood at a later date.

Location matters

Picture frames can be tough, but not all are! Thinner frames will suffer if you place them directly above a fireplace, and even some thick frames will warp if they get moved from a cold location to a warm one.

Frame finishes are often the first sign of a problem. A change in heat or atmosphere can create tiny fissures which will slowly open up a crack in the wood. The best advice is to keep your frames in a room-termperature environment, or at least a steady one.

Hanging woes!

Tempted to hang a picture frame on a tiny nail? Don’t do it. If that frame falls down, it’ll likely incur some damage. A lot of frames look fine after a fall, but will have suffered damage inside the corners, jarring the staples that holds the frame pieces in position.

Notice a crack, gap or wibbly wobbly bit? Filling it is usually a wise idea, as it’ll keep everything tightly together and prevent further problems.

Get some tape on it

Tape protects both the painting inside and the frame from the elements, preventing moisture and bugs from getting in. Keep the water out and your frame should stay in better shape for longer.

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