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Typical Reasons for the Occurrence of Photo Damage

Most individuals are aware of the severe damage that exposure to direct sunshine can do to precious framed paintings and materials. Colors can deteriorate with time, and light exposure can make paper brittle, yellow, or oxidised. 

Your prized artwork and images are at risk from several factors besides just light exposure. Consider the several additional ways damage can happen to extend the longevity of your framed treasures.

Below are some of the elements that can damage your photos and artwork.

Lignin and Acid

The wrong mat board, backing board, adhesives, and other components in the frame package, as well as any chemical or airborne contaminants to which the piece is repeatedly exposed, are typically to blame for this kind of damage. Photographs may fade or turn yellow due to lignin, which is present in wood items.

Use “museum quality” materials like mat board made of cotton rag or alpha-cellulose, acid-free mount board, photo-safe adhesives, and other items with that designation.

Air Toxicity

Photos and artwork inside the home will fade as a result of airborne pollution. Even the sort of paper used to print a photo can be the culprit and release toxic fumes inside the frame, discolouring the image.

Along with choosing the right materials, it’s critical to make sure the space where the frame component is exhibited won’t damage the image. 

Use caution when cleaning the area surrounding the frame, for instance. In addition, wait two weeks after painting a room before rehanging the picture frame.


A professional conservator or exterminator must be hired to treat an insect infestation because it might create holes and stains. Usually, openings in a frame’s construction allow insects to enter.


Did you know that a shot cannot be taken in an environment that is too warm? Long-term exposure to heat can cause framed items to distort, get discoloured, or otherwise deteriorate. 

Even the display and accent lighting you employ for your artwork can generate enough heat to harm your framed piece.

Avoid putting your framed piece on display where the frame will be in direct morning or afternoon light, and use non-heat-producing lighting instead.


The blocking process can befall framed images when they are exposed to moisture. When a photo starts to block, its surface starts to behave like adhesive and adheres to the glass frame; removing the photo usually results in the destruction of the image. 

Additionally, moisture will result in warping, mould growth on the item’s surface, and colour bleeding on digital photos.

The greatest place for your framed piece to be displayed is one with air conditioning and minimal humidity. In order to prevent the artwork from touching the glazing, it is also advisable to employ picture frame spacers.

Ways to Protect Your Image

By initially choosing the appropriate materials to be used in the overall frame package, you may prevent harm to your artwork.

  • A sturdy frame of the highest calibre
  • Glass or acrylic glazing, particularly with UV protection
  • Spacers for picture frames
  • A pH-neutral mat board
  • A pH-neutral mount board
  • Backer paper, which encloses the package and guards against moisture, pests, and other contaminants


All of these premium framing supplies can be obtained from a reputable frame shop. Even while some ready-made frames come with built-in archival materials, you can choose to use your own carefully chosen materials instead. 

However, you should make sure that every component of the frame package is resistant to harm. The best approach to make sure you can enjoy your framed items for many years to come is to make a long-term investment in a quality framing package.

Picture Framing offers quality custom picture frames in Sydney. We have a wide selection of high-quality products and can help you achieve your dream framed piece. Contact us today to learn more!