How to Weatherproof Art for the Outdoors

With spring coming so soon, it’s probably crossed your mind to update your outdoor entertaining areas to prepare for having guests over. If you are looking to do a complete overhaul, you can also update your decor by adding new art pieces.

However, with spring flowers comes spring showers, so it’s important to make sure that all pieces of your outdoor space are weatherproofed, including your outdoor art. See below for great tips on how to bring indoor art to the outdoors.

Pick your art piece. You may want to choose photographs, but if you do, make sure they are copies and not originals, as they may get ruined in the rain despite your best efforts. You may even want to laminate the photo first to add a second layer of protection. If you choose art pieces, go with something on a canvas that can be sealed as you see below.

First, waterproof your wood. If you are choosing an antique picture frame or an oval frame, you’ll want to protect the wood first. Purchase a polyurethane spray sealer to spray on the front and back of your wood frame. Keep in mind that this can leave an amber kind of finish on a white canvas, so protect your art with newspaper if spraying directly onto the frame. Be sure to secure any loose canvas first around the edges with glue before spraying the wood.

Next, waterproof your canvas itself. For this, you’ll want to choose a clear acrylic spray to waterproof the canvas. This will not leave any color residue and can be used as several layers to add protection.

If you are hanging a framed photograph, seal the back with a piece of kraft paper (or Tyvek for heavy moisture areas) and add a sawtooth hanger on the back, or a few side hooks if you want to hang from some twine or ribbon. This will not only look great but will protect your art inside from the outdoor elements. This is a trick that professional framers have used for years to help keep moisture from ruining their frames.

Hang and enjoy! Hang your outdoor art anywhere you like, whether it be on an open patio or a closed in porch. Your art will be protected from the elements, but be sure to give it a quick wipe down after unusually heavy rainfall, or even remove it if you know it’s going to storm. Wind and rain can cause wood to expand, so you’ll also want to move your frames indoors from time to time to keep the wood from swelling permanently.

15th Mar 2018 Eric Morgan

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