How to care for your canvas prints

canvas print care
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A canvas print is an elegant way to display your favorite photo and the best services on the web offer materials that bring out the vibrant colors of your images while imparting a unique texture to your wall art.

Maintaining that shine for years requires special care, though. Canvas can be more delicate than other print materials, especially when it comes to cleaning. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to care for your canvas prints.


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1. Avoid direct sunlight

Hanging your canvas print in a well-lit area of your home can bring out its colors, especially if its a sweeping landscape or a bold artwork.

However, you’ll want to avoid placing your print in a spot where it will receive direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Most canvas prints are sprayed with a UV-resistant coating, but direct sunlight day after day can still cause your print to fade over time.

2. Cool and dry is best

In addition to avoiding direct sunlight, you’ll want to think about temperature and humidity when deciding where to hang your artwork. Cool and dry conditions are best, since heat and moisture can cause your canvas to stretch over time.

Avoid locations in your home like bathrooms and unfinished basements where moisture build-up is common. You’ll also want to avoid placing your canvas print in rooms like the kitchen, where cooking can generate smoke and moisture.

3. Dust, don’t rub

Like any fixture in your home, a canvas print can collect dust and cobwebs over time. When it’s time for a cleaning, use a feather duster to wipe off the surface of the print. Never rub the print with your fingers or nails to remove dust or other debris, since that can scratch the print material.

If you need more cleaning power, try using a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Move the cloth in circles rather than pressing and rubbing, and make sure the cloth isn’t so wet that it’s dripping water all over your canvas print. 

canvas print

(Image credit:

4. Don’t use chemical cleaners

If a damp cloth can’t remove dirt or grime from your canvas print, don’t turn to a chemical-based cleaner. Household cleaning solutions can break down the UV coating on your print or even strip away some of the ink. Once you get chemicals into your canvas, it can be difficult or impossible to get them out without damaging your print.

Instead, your best option is to take your print to a professional cleaner. Your local art store may have canvas cleaning services available, or they can point you to a trustworthy cleaning service.

5. Store with acid-free paper 

When it’s time to rotate the prints on your wall, update your decor or move home, you might want to put your canvas print in storage. The key to storing prints for the long-term is to wrap them in acid-free paper or another acid-free material. The paper covering will protect the print surface from scratches, and since it doesn’t contain acid your canvas won’t yellow over time.

Make sure also to store your print in a cool, dry area. Moisture, excessive heat, and big temperature swings can cause your canvas to stretch or loosen over time.

How to care for your canvas prints

It’s easy to keep your canvas looking vibrant and new for years to come. Just make sure to place your artwork carefully and use only gentle cleaning techniques to prolong its life. With proper care, you can genuinely enjoy it for a whole lifetime.

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Michael Graw

Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review.