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Do canvas prints fade? And how long do they last?

There are a lot of questions flying around regarding canvas prints. In this series of articles we’re going to try to answer almost all of them.

The number one question and worry is if canvas prints fade over time. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but everything fades over time, including prints.

Do canvas prints fade?

Canvas prints, as well as all art prints or anything else, really, will fade in time. However, the time can vary depending on several factors like the quality of the ink, quality of the print medium, environmental conditions, and protective coating.
The quality of the ink should be obvious, lesser quality ink will fade faster than higher quality ink. You need to make sure the ink is archival quality and from a top manufacturer, like HP or Epson.

Environmental conditions usually refer to exposure to light, but humidity and chemicals in the air can also speed up the process. It’s best to avoid displaying canvases in bathrooms or other humid places.

UV light damages everything it touches, so you should not expose canvas prints to direct sunlight or even natural light if you want them to keep their colors long term. Even metal prints shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight, even though they’re the recommended medium for displaying outside.

Canvas prints can come with UV and scratch resistant coating that will greatly extend their life.

How long do canvas prints last?

Under normal display conditions, in a home with normal light, a good canvas print should last about 75 years or more without having any visible signs of fading.

However, the stronger the light, the faster it will fade. A print displayed in an office with more intense lights will fade faster, and one in a store or somewhere with very strong lighting will fade even faster. A print displayed in direct sunlight will fade really fast, so avoid sunlight at all costs as even a very small exposure can do damage. Just think what it does to your skin!

The quality of the canvas plays a big role in how long it will last. The thicker the canvas, the more resistant it will be in time. The weight is defined as Grams Per Square. The higher the GSM, the better the canvas. Art prints are usually done on 400GSM cotton or poly-cotton canvas.

The bottom line is you shouldn’t worry about canvases that will fade in normal display conditions. Today’s LED lighting is much less damaging than the fluorescent bulbs we had back in the day, and archival inks can last 100 years without any visible signs of fading.

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