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How to Protect Movie Posters From Sun Damage

Updated April 17, 2017

Movie posters are loved by memorabilia collectors and movie enthusiasts alike. Regardless of whether you are a collector or an enthusiast, preserving your poster collection is essential. UV rays are produced by both sunlight and fluorescent lighting, and can cause the colours of your poster to fade rapidly. Heat is also produced by both sunlight and fluorescent lighting, and can cause brittleness and browning.

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  1. Frame your poster. Use Plexiglas that includes UV filtering protection, or use glass and a UV filtering film. Take your poster to a professional framer if you are unsure about framing procedures as, in addition to UV filtering, they can ensure that your poster is framed with the proper matting (to prevent your poster from sticking to the glass or Plexiglas), and they can ensure that your poster is framed with quality, acid-free products, which will extend the life of your poster.

  2. Hang your poster away from sources of direct sunlight, such as windows or glass doors. You should also avoid fluorescent lighting, as it produces UV rays similar to those produced by sunlight. Proper placement can add years to your poster's life.

  3. Block direct sunlight through the use of window curtains or room dividers. Curtains and mountings can be purchased at most any department store. Room dividers can be purchased at some department stores and most well-stocked furniture stores. Curtains and room dividers not only help to protect your poster, but they can add aesthetic appeal to your room.

  4. Use UV filtering film on nearby windows. Not only will it protect your poster from sun damage, it will also protect your eyes and skin. UV filtering film is available at some hardware stores, craft stores, and professional framing locations.

  5. Use UV filtering sleeves on nearby fluorescent lighting. UV rays from fluorescent lighting can damage a poster just as much as UV rays from direct sunlight. UV filtering sleeves are available at many hardware stores and stores that specialise in lighting.

  6. Cover your poster during peak sunlight hours. You can simply drape a cloth over the picture frame, or you can construct a curtain over the poster's frame that can be opened or closed. Constructing a curtain is easy, and you can purchase curtain rods and mountings at any hardware store. The curtains themselves can be hand sewn with some spare fabric and a pattern, or bought pre-sewn in a department store.

  7. Warning

    Some inexpensive framing materials contain acid, which could harm your poster. Do not wait until your poster has already begun to fade to take precautions. Once damage has occurred, it cannot be reversed. Use a theatre light box at your own risk. The light and heat from the light bulb inside can cause not only light damage to your poster, but also heat damage. Use the light infrequently and for short periods only in order to preserve your poster. Laminating your poster may prevent heat damage caused by the sun, but will not prevent fading, and it will devalue your poster.

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Things You'll Need

  • Poster frame
  • Acid-free framing supplies
  • UV filtering Plexiglas
  • UV filtering glass film
  • UV filtering fluorescent light bulb sleeves
  • Curtains
  • Curtain rod
  • Curtain mountings
  • Room divider

About the Author

Cristel Wood

Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.

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