man tape a box for storage

How to Store Picture Frames Properly

Framing is a great way to show off your favorite photos or artwork. They last for a very long time and look very nice hanging up. However, picture frames are fragile items that need to be stored properly in order to avoid damaging your precious photos or artworks.

Because of the fragile nature of picture frames, you need to know how to store them properly to make them last a lifetime. In this article, we'll be discussing how you can properly clean, cover, and store your picture frames to maintain their condition.

How Do I Preserve The Condition of My Frames?

Picture frames are fragile items, but when handled properly, you can preserve their condition. Before you put your picture frames away for a long time, it's important that you clean and cover your frames first to keep stubborn stains away and safeguard them from potential damage while they're not in use.

Here's what you need to do to properly store your picture frames and maintain their condition:

Clean the picture frames

If you're planning to set aside some picture frames and put them in the closet or a storage unit for a relatively long time, make sure you get rid of dust, dirt, or other stains on your picture frames, before putting them away.

Clean the picture frame carefully with a microfiber cloth and avoid applying too much pressure with the cloth to prevent damaging your frames. Do not clean your frames with a paper towel since this can leave scratches on your frame. If you have a detailed frame, you can use an old toothbrush to get rid of anything stuck in the crevices. For stubborn stains and marks, you can use a damp cotton bud to spot clean your picture frames. If your frames are made of metal, you can wipe them with a little oil to avoid rust from forming. If your frames are made of wood, you can spray some polish on them to add an extra layer of protection.

Don't forget to clean your frame's glazing. If your frame is glazed with acrylic or laminated glass, you can use alcohol or ammonia-free glass cleaners to clean the surface. For glass front frames, you should use high-quality glass cleaners to restore your glazing's crystal clear finish.

Cover your picture frames

Covering your picture frames is one of the best ways to make sure that their condition is preserved while they are in storage. If you're putting your picture frames away, make sure to cover the frame with a clean sheet of plain colored paper. Avoid using old newspapers, magazines, or other kinds of paper with prints on them since the ink can transfer to your picture frames.

The corners of your picture frame are the most vulnerable parts. If you noticed, most picture frames that are displayed for sale have their corners covered. You'd want to do the same for the picture frames that you'll be storing. One of the easiest ways to cover the corners of your picture frame is to use bubble wrap. You can take a small strip of bubble wrap and fold it over the corners of your picture frame. Make sure to tape the bubble-wrapped corners of the picture frame to secure them in place. To give your frame an extra layer of protection, you can also wrap the entire frame with bubble wrap or paper after you've wrapped the corners. For more fragile frames, you can use stiffer materials like polyethylene foam or styrofoam to provide a cushion for your picture frames.

If you don't have bubble wrap and have spare pieces of cardboard at home, you can follow the steps from this article to make frame corner protectors made of cardboard.

Place the frames inside a box

After you've cleaned and wrapped your picture frames, you'd want to place them inside a box to add an extra layer of protection. There are many storage boxes available in the market, but if you don't want to spend extra on picture frame storage boxes, you can use sturdy cardboard boxes that are big enough to hold your picture frames.

Make sure to pack the picture frames tightly, but leave enough room for them to stand without touching each other. If your picture frames are significantly smaller than the box, you can use foam or paper to fill the gaps and make sure that your frames don't move around in the box. You can also place layers of foam between each picture frame if you're storing multiple frames in one box. Don't forget to label the box as "fragile" if you're having them moved to another place.

Protect your frames from harsh environments

If you want to preserve the condition of your picture frames, together with the artwork or photos that they contain, you have to choose a storage space carefully. Picture frames should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, even if they're already inside boxes.

Keep your picture frames away from sunlight, humidity, and harsh temperatures as these things are the main factors that can cause your photos or artwork to fade and discolor over time. Avoid storing your picture frames near doors, windows, and appliances. Placing picture frames inside closets or a climate-controlled storage unit is a good way to give them protection from external elements.

Storing picture frames in basements or garages is not advisable since these areas are susceptible to humidity and water damage. It's also not recommended to store picture frames in attics since the heat there can dry out the picture frame finishes and cause them to deteriorate.

What else can you do to make your picture frames last?

Have your pictures or artworks framed by professionals

If you're looking to frame precious family pictures, vintage artworks, or any sort of materials to be framed, online custom framing is one of your best choices. Having professionals do the framing for you would give you the confidence that your frames are of the best quality and that they would last for a lifetime.

Know what kind of glazing would be best for you.

Knowing how to choose the correct picture glazing would also help preserve the condition of your pictures or artworks. The kind of glazing you should use would depend on what you're framing, where you're displaying the frame and many other elements. Having the correct glazing on your frames would help give your frames an extra layer of protection from harmful elements like UV rays which can cause your framed art to fade over time.

Invest in Conservation Framing

If you want to go the extra mile in preserving the condition of your framed piece, you can opt for conservation framing. Conservation framing uses techniques that further protect your pictures from the degrading effects of environmental influences. This is one of the best things you can do to make sure that your sentimental framed pieces are kept in their prime condition for as long as possible.

Final words

Picture frames are a great way to display your photos and artwork, but they can be delicate and need to be stored properly in order to keep them in good condition. In this article, we have discussed some tips on how to store picture frames so that the frames and the artworks displayed inside don't get damaged over time. If you found this article interesting you can check out more tips from our blog!