How To Keep High Gloss Printed Photos Safe From The Light

4 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

High gloss paper is great for printing photos because you end up with a photo that looks like one you had printed at the store. The colors shine and the picture looks glossy and vibrant. The problem with printing photos on high gloss photo paper is that they tend to fade faster than pictures printed on regular printer paper.

What can you do to make your high gloss printed photos last when you place them in a frame to display? Here are a few tips:

Archival Ink

Choose a high quality archival ink to print the photo. Archival inks are designed to not fade for decades. You can find these inks for your home printer but they might be too costly for your project. You can also have the photo printed at a store. Most stores or those printing machines in stores use higher quality archival ink. Ask to make sure before printing your photo.


Light is deadly to ink and will make it fade quickly. Sealing your photo before placing it in the frame will help with fading over time. You can find UV protective coatings in most craft stores. They come in sprays and clear paints. When you spray a photo make sure it is held down flat so it won't blow away from the blast of air.

You can also use general all-in-one sealers that work as glues, finishes, and sealants at once. Gel medium is one such item and many different craft glues do the same thing. Wait until the photo is completely dry after printing and then brush a thick layer over the photo. Let it dry completely before framing. Touch the photo in a corner to check for stickiness so you don't accidentally live a finger print on the photo.

UV Blocking Glass

Find a frame with museum glass or purchase museum glass that fits your frame. Museum glass blocks nearly all UV light. This museum quality glass isn't very cheap, but works better than just using a sealant. If you can afford the glass then it will significantly increase the life of your photos.

Frame Placement

As mentioned, light is the biggest photo killer. Once you have your picture perfectly framed, you want to hang the photo somewhere it won't get much direct sunlight. For example, never place the picture across from a window. Instead, stick it next to the window. To determine a good place, watch where the light from the window creates shadows during the day. The area with the most shadow during the day is the best place for your framed photo.

These tips will help keep your high gloss printed photo last for a long time.