Now that you have brought your framed picture home, you will want to hang it up! You have most likely framed it with a special place in mind. Here are some practical things to consider.

Heat from furnace vents and working fireplaces can affect your picture by drying it out excessively. Frame corners can shrink and gaps can appear over time. Low humidity caused by heating can affect your picture as well, causing premature aging.

Light is a big consideration. Full sunlight fades just about everything before long. Keeping your pictures out of the sun is important. But damaging UV exists in other light sources as well. Florescent light and winter light reflected off snow also take their toll. If you expect your picture to be exposed to a lot of uncontrolled light, you can have UV blocking (“conservation”) glass installed. Although ultraviolet wavelengths are the most damaging, regular light also cause fading; hanging sensitive and valuable pictures where you can control the light is important.

Humidity is also a potential hazard. While the Canmore environment is often desert dry, periods of rain and snow will raise the humidity and can cause problems in conditions of poor ventilation. For example, framing an item of value between two pieces of glass is not recommended, as glass traps moisture, and mold can grow. If you should have the misfortune of a flooding event in your home, be sure to get your pictures away from water immediately. If they have gotten wet, they should be opened up as soon as possible to dry them out. Mould growth and rust from metal brads and hardware can happen very quickly. While mould growth is stopped once the picture is dry, it never goes away and regrowth can easily be triggered. It’s better not to let it happen to begin with.

To clean the glass on your picture, should it ever need more than a dusting, be sure to spray the glass cleaner onto the cleaning cloth, and never onto the glass itself. It’s too easy for the fluid to leak under the frame. It will wick up into the mat or the picture, staining and warping it.

Caring for plexiglas requires a little more attention. Plexi is a little clearer than glass, is lighter and very hard to break. These qualities make plexiglas a good choice for large pieces and for art in public places. However, it requires more attention in cleaning. It has a static charge and can attract dust, but gentle dusting with a soft cloth can take care of that. If it needs more, it its important to use a very soft cloth (such as cotton) and a plastic cleaner or just a little detergent such as dish soap, on the cloth. Regular glass cleaners usually contain ammonia, which slightly dissolves and scratches the plastic.