How to Store Art Frames

By Judy Filarecki ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Storage containers
  • Storage areas
Protect the finishes on the picture frames by storing them properly.

Having the right space to store art frames will make the difference between having frames that are perfect for your pictures or ones that you might as well throw away because they are no longer usable.

Frames are susceptible to scratching, warping, rotting, fading, weakening in the corners and other damaging effects. It is critical to store them properly so they are ready to use when you are. With an understanding of how to avoid these problems you can store frames for as long as you need without damaging them.

Protective Storage

Cover all corners of the frame with protective end caps, such as triangular cardboard pockets.

Stand the frames vertically in a box or on enclosed shelving with slotted dividers to keep them from falling over or pressing against each other. The dividers can be built into the box similar to old-fashioned mail slots, or large pieces of cardboard can be placed in between each frame. The cardboard must be large enough so no frame touches the ones on either side of it.

Shrink-wrap individual frames for added protection, especially ones with fragile surfaces, and then store them vertically in the box.

Store two frames in a wide slot by putting them back to back.

Safe Storage Areas

Store art frames where there is no excessive humidity. Areas that are not recommended include the basement, bathroom, attic, closed-in porch and any other area that tends to be humid and musty. Humidity can cause the frames to warp, rot, smell musty, or loosen corners, and wood-damaging insects might start feeding on the wood. Use a dehumidifier if you must store them in any of these areas.

Keep frames in areas where there is no excessive heat or cold, such as temperature-controlled areas of the house, not the attic. Wood tends to expand and contract, and with drastic changes in temperature, the frames may crack and the corners can come undone.

Place the frames where they are not exposed to direct sunlight. Uneven fading of the wood can result, making it necessary to refinish the wood before using the frame.

Protect the frames from being kicked or knocked over by storing them in low-traffic areas. Damage to the finish or having the frame break is not something you want to happen.

About the Author

Judy Filarecki has been a health educator and writer for 45 years. Her published work includes (under the name Judith Schwiegerling): "Down Syndrome: Optimizing Health and Development," Msall, DiGaudio and Schwiegerling, 1990; "Diabetes and Exercise," Schwiegerling, 1989. She has also published "Painting with Acrylics: Sombrero Peak." She has a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Master of Education from SUNY at Buffalo.