How to Best Preserve a Poster

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Best Preserve a Poster
Preserve a poster so the art can be enjoyed for generations. (abstract background image by Stasys Eidiejus from

You can best preserve the quality and condition of a poster by limiting its exposure to light, moisture, acids, oils and insects. Rare and collectable posters preserved in the right environment will hold their condition and increase in value while other copies of the poster deteriorate. Choosing the wrong type of plastic storage sleeves or backing board can negatively affect the condition of a poster. Protect the original investment in a poster by insulating it from any elements that may cause damage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Acid-free cardboard backing
  • Mylar poster sleeve
  • Clear tape

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  1. 1

    Place the poster print-side down onto an acid-free cardboard backing. Labels on cardboard backing that say "acid-free at time of manufacture" are not truly acid-free and only have a protective layer that may come off in time. Look for cardboard packaging that simply says "acid-free" and shows a minimum pH of 8.5.

  2. 2

    Slide the poster on the cardboard backing into a Mylar poster sleeve until it is all the way at the bottom.

  3. 3

    Fold over the top of the Mylar sleeve and seal it closed with small pieces of clear tape.

  4. 4

    Place the boarded and covered poster on a flat horizontal surface in a cool, dark and dry area. Do not stack more than five posters on top of each other.

Tips and warnings

  • Further preserve the paper of the poster by having it professionally de-acidified. The poster is treated with an alkaline chemical solution that impregnates the fibres to neutralise acid.

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