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How to Protect a Picture From Moisture While Hanging in the Bathroom

Updated April 17, 2017

It's easy to ignore the bathroom when decorating, leaving its walls blank and sterile. Hanging family photos or elegant art prints in the bathroom can brighten up the room, but putting artwork in the bathroom presents its own set of problems. Moisture can damage fine art and photographs, so the high-humidity environment of a bathroom spells trouble over time. To prevent damage to your art, take precautions to protect and preserve it from excess moisture.

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  1. Select art for the bathroom that's made from archival materials. Archival-quality work is more likely to withstand the humid environment. Choose artwork painted or printed on acid-free paper.

  2. Varnish artwork if it is not already varnished. This will help preserve and protect it from the elements, including moisture. Apply varnish in a thin coat, or use spray-on varnish to apply an even layer, following the instructions for the product you choose.

  3. Protect your pictures with frames, glass, and plexiglass. Mount each picture on archival-quality foam core that is acid-free and lignen-free. The glass or plexiglass will help to protect the pictures from the elements. If left unprotected, artwork is not only susceptible to mildew but also to sulphur dioxide, which will cause discolouration. In the humid environment of a bathroom, the sulphur dioxide reacts with moisture in the air to form sulphuric acid, which will damage the artwork.

  4. Make sure the artwork does not touch the glass itself, but that it is still sealed completely from the elements from the front and back. The pictures must be fully sealed to ensure no moisture can seep through the glass or plexiglass.

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Things You'll Need

  • Picture frames
  • Glass or plexiglass
  • Foam core
  • Varnish

About the Author

Michelle Labbe

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.

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