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Homeblog › What can wipe the smile off your family’s face?

What can wipe the smile off your family’s face?

What can wipe the smile off your family’s face?

Perfect family photo

It took quite some time to get it perfect. The children would not stop fidgeting, then hubby’s eyes were closed, and the wind blew your hair all over your face. But after many, frustrating attempts, you finally achieve it!

The perfect family photo.

You print it out and can’t believe your luck – everyone looks just stunning. You give a sigh of relief as you slide it into a ready made frame, found a while ago in the local store, and hang it on your wall.

But as you wander away, you have no idea of the danger to your perfect family photo…

What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, with a ready-made frame – so many things! We tend to refer to them as “disposable” frames, because they are not built to last. And most importantly, we need to understand they are not built to protect photos. At least, not for the long term.


In a nutshell – it’s the materials they are made from, the method of construction and how your photos sit in the frame. As a short term option, they are fine. But don’t be surprised if over the years you see your photos fading, moving about and even worse, sticking to the glass in the frame.

Family photo wallBecause ready-made frames are mass produced, they are made with the lowest cost materials. And this means the glass, backing boards and mating boards are not likely to be acid-free. What does this mean for your photo? It means the acid in the frame and backing board will leach into your photo creating brown spots (otherwise known as foxing).

Combine this with cheap glass that never seems to fit quite right in the frame, and the inevitable fading with exposure to either sunlight or even normal indoor light. Quite often these frames have the glass resting on your photos, so as humidity rises in the air, the photos stick to the glass, permanently ruining them.

So between the glass, the materials, the risk of your photo sticking to the glass, the dodgy hanging wire and of course the risk of creepy-crawlies sneaking into the back….a ready-made frame is not the safest place for your new favourite photo!

We know that it’s not possible to always custom frame every photo in the house – but if you are using ready-made frames, just keep an eye on them and follow our tips to keep your family memories as safe as possible:

Tip 1: Choose the best quality ready-made frames you can afford

Tip 2: Always put a mat board around your photo – separating the image from the frame and creating space between the glass and your photo.

Tip 3: Once a year, take the photos out of the frame and check for any signs of acid damage. (This might be in the form of brown spotting or marks on the back of the photo, the mat board or the backing board of the frame)

Tip 4: Check that the hanging wire on the back of the photo is strong enough for the weight of the piece and if necessary use stronger wire.

And if you are worried about family photos at your home (particularly if you have some images that are already sticking), drop into our showroom with the pictures and our friendly team can have a chat with you about the best way to extract and preserve your memories.