How to stop canvas prints from fading.

Canvas is a high-quality, sturdy material that looks great, is cost effective to purchase and produce, and creates minimal impact upon the environment. While canvas prints hold their ink well over time, there are definitely things you can do—and avoid—to keep your prints looking vibrant for as long as possible.

Our canvas prints are created using either a special blend of polycotton (for 2.8cm thick canvas prints), or a premium blend of modern polyester (used for 1.8cm thick canvas prints).

Regardless of the size or blend you select, all of our canvas prints are handcrafted, inspected for quality, and packaged in custom-designed canvas protection parcels for safe delivery.

While our prints are more than likely to arrive at your door in pristine condition, the reality is that some canvas prints can fade over time when left in certain conditions.

Here’s what to do—and crucially, what not to do—to keep your canvas print looking sharp.

Avoid hanging your canvas print in direct sunlight.

Any type of prolonged exposure to harsh light can affect canvas over time, but it’s especially important that you avoid hanging your prints in direct sunlight.

Sunlight contains natural ultraviolet rays (or UV rays) which can cause the colours in your print to fade over time. The process—called ‘photolysis’—occurs because the ultraviolet slowly wares down and eventually breaks the chemical bonds of molecules that create colour. The more bonds that break, the more your print appears to become less vivid.

Unfortunately, you cannot reverse the effects of UV damage to a canvas print. Luckily though, it is very easy to guard against. The easiest and most effective approach? Simply hang your print in an area that is rarely exposed to direct sunlight through windows or skylights.

Pro tip: Although it’s not immediately as damaging, fluorescent light can create a similar effect and contribute to loss of vibrancy. Perhaps best to avoid harsh fluorescents, too.

Keep your canvas away from humid or overly moist conditions.

Natural levels of humidity will change depending on the area and geography of your home. High altitudes in Far North Queensland, for example, will be naturally more humid than suburban Tasmania.

Conditional humidity aside, there are certain areas of every home that are more prone to humidity: kitchens and bathrooms in particular.

It might be tempting to hang your print next to the bathroom mirror, so you can admire it while you’re getting ready in the mornings. Or equally, above your sink or stove top so you can appreciate it while you cook. But the steam from hot showers or boiling pots and pans can create small water molecules that are absorbed into the canvas and interact with the ink.

Again, this is an easy fix: if you notice condensation on any surfaces in rooms around the house—like on windows, splash back screens, or similar—you should avoid hanging your print in these spaces.

Watch out for radiating heat.

Radiating heat—or the type of heat which is projected from fires, heaters, or other heat-generating devices around the home—can impact your canvas over the long term, or even relatively immediately depending on the intensity and exposure.

Long term, gradual heat damage is visible in the form of fading and general print deterioration. In extreme cases, or close exposure to high levels of heat, your print could also warp in shape, or split.

Common sources of direct heat throughout the home include:

  • Gas and electric heaters
  • Open fireplaces
  • Stove tops and ovens
  • Central heating ducts or split heating systems
  • Bathroom appliances (like hair dryers and hair straighteners)

Once again, your best option to prevent against damage from exposure to heat—whether long term or immediate—is to hang your canvas in a carefully selected location, away from any of the above sources of danger.

Other steps you can take.

Beyond being cautious with your choice of positioning, there are a few other measures you can take to keep your canvas looking vibrant long term.

  • If you’re particularly concerned about the potential of ultraviolet damage from sunlight, there are premium protective glassware products you could use to frame your canvas, which offer up to 99% protection against the impact of sunlight.
  • Whenever you handle or move your canvas print, hold it with a fine fabric while moving it around (like a t-shirt).
  • Only ever clean your canvas with a light feather duster. Never use any kind of spray, liquid based cleaning product, or solvent.

Follow these simple steps and your canvas will stay lush and bright for years to come.