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How to Store Unframed Prints


When choosing how to store unframed prints, your decisions will depend on the value of the artwork, whether it be monetary value or sentimental value.

There are two main ways to look at when choosing how to store unframed prints and they are as follows:-

Flat Storage

Unframed prints should be placed flat in between two pieces of matt board, this should be acid-free. Provided that the mat boards are acid free then the prints do not need to be wrapped separately and can be placed together. The main cause of damage to unframed prints is insect damage so ensure you seal the pieces of matt board together with tape so they are sealed completely.

Rolled Storage

If you cannot store your prints flat then you can place your prints rolled in a cylinder as an option for how to store your unframed prints. Rolling must be done carefully and you should add in a piece of acid free paper for protection of your artwork. Never place an elastic band around your prints as over time it will damage them. The tube must be sealed to ensure no insects can get in.

All prints should be stored in a dry area and you need to avoid high humidity areas. If you have valuable artwork to protect then extra measures may need to be taken, some options of how to store unframed prints are:-


When a document is encased in a polyester film and properly sealed it is referred to as encapsulated. When artwork is encased it is in a permanent microclimate so can be taken out and inspected at any time without risk of damage.

A Covered Window Matboard

This technique is recommended for artwork that needs special protection such as original artwork including pastels and charcoal. You mat the artwork then cover it with another sheet of matboard which you can hinge at one side with pressure-sensitive linen tape. This technique will allow you to store the artwork safety but give you access to view it.

Solander Box

This is an acid free, special airtight box with a hinged front panel. The hinged panel gives easy access to your prints, to add or remove prints. Solander boxes are available from conservation suppliers.


Source by JS Fox