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Print Protection in High humidity area

Chris Jamison , Dec 21, 2006; 07:28 p.m.

I had a couple of prints made from my lab and mounted on 'gator' material (it's not really important though), the prints themselves are going to be out in the open air, not behind any kind of glass. Without thinking ahead of time, I had planned on hanging them on my bathroom wall. Obviously a HIGH humidity area when the shower is running. Anyway, I'm just wondering if there is any kind of spray that I can apply to the prints themselves that could protect them from the moisture in that room? If not...I'll have to find somewhere else for them...but I wanted to check before I changed my plan.

I'm new here and I appreciate any feedback that you could give!




Daniel Lawton , Dec 21, 2006; 08:30 p.m.

Avoid hanging them in a bathroom at all costs. Besides issues such as warping and bubbling, high humidity is seriously detrimental to the long term archivability of photographs.

Shirley Brigden , Dec 21, 2006; 10:45 p.m.

I have had mine in the bathroom plaqued, you can get it done at Costco, or (where I live) at the photo lab at the grocery store. You can get them plaqued with a border around, I have had one in the bathroom for 2 years without any problems. They are laminated so the moisture doesn't affect them.

Lex Jenkins , Dec 22, 2006; 02:52 p.m.

My family, friends and I have all long hung all kinds of artwork in our bathrooms. Often they're nothing more than photos cut out of magazines mounted in cheap frames with the photo directly against the glass. Even with the high humidity these have lasted for years without problems.

Our carefully prepared and properly mounted and matted, selenium toned photographs with space between photo and glass should hold up reasonably well in that environment.

I've prepared photos this way for display in semi-sheltered outdoor environments and buildings with no climate control. Often these have been mounted on foamcore, no frames, mats or glass. The photos have lasted for years without deterioration as long as they're protected from direct precipitation. Condensation from high humidity, dew, whatever, hasn't been a problem since it usually evaporates fairly quickly whether in a bathroom or outdoors.

Daniel Lawton , Dec 22, 2006; 04:21 p.m.

Perhaps I'm slanting my advice in favor of ultimate archival protection. Obviously you have to weigh the aesthetical value of hanging a photo where you think it looks best with the archival benefits (or dangers) of the environment. If your primary goal is to decorate your bathroom and print permanence is a secondary consideration than go ahead and hang them. They won't evaporate before your eyes of course but their is no denying the harmful effects of humidity and steam on photographs.

Chris Jamison , Dec 22, 2006; 04:53 p.m.

Thank you guys very much for taking the time to respond. Being as I'd like to keep these prints around for as long as I can, I think I'm going to go ahead and find another place to hang them.

Once again, I really appreciate the feedback!


Eric Merrill , Dec 22, 2006; 04:54 p.m.

These are prints you are making, right? Is there anything to prevent you from remaking them in another few years? I wouldn't worry.

I've had prints matted and behind glass in our bathroom. Takes several years to see any issue. It isn't that expensive to reprint and cut a new mat. Far easier than trying to worry about what to put on the print to make it last longer.

If these were priceless one of a kind pieces of art, then I would question the sanity of putting them in the bathroom. But we're talking about *your* prints that you can redo at minimal cost.


Chris Jamison , Dec 22, 2006; 04:58 p.m.

Very good point. Though, they are not being mounted behing glass. The gator mounting is almost like a hard foam block about 1/2 inch thing with finished sides that the print is mounted directly to. and then hung as-is on the wall. it's kind of a contemporary look.

thanks again!


rich ullsmith , Dec 22, 2006; 06:13 p.m.

I have stuff in the bathroom and darkroom, but it's not irreplaceable. And a bathroom in Tuscon is different than a bathroom in Ft. Lauderdale.

I imagine that deterioration happens so slowly that I would not notice. But it will happen nonetheless.

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