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How to preserve a poster

Vintage posters are highly collectible items and their value continues to rise if you protect your poster from the elements that can destroy it. This free information is to help you preserve a poster so you will have it for years to come.

First, you need to decide if you intend to frame it for display or just store it safely. The methods to preserve a poster are different for each of these.

Preserve a Poster by Storing It

If you just want to safely store your vintage posters, it's good to keep them flat, in acid-free sleeves. Acid-free sleeves preserve your posters from dust, moisture and critters. Storing them rolled up is another option – particularly if you lack the space to store the posters flat. Acid-free tubes should be used to preserve the posters rolled-up.

It is not good to store posters stacked deep unless they are sealed together with plastic like shrink-wrap. Remember posters left open will accumulate dust and moisture, which will damage your posters.

Preserve a Poster by Framing It

If you want to preserve posters in frames remember this rule: light is one of paper's worst enemies. So to preserve your poster in frames, use UV-resistant glass or Plexiglas and you will eliminate 98% of the damage florescent lights and sunlight would cause.

Always use acid-free matting and backing when preserving a poster in a frame. Regular matting and backing with acid will actually eat away at your poster.

To preserve a poster in a frame without matting, use a molding to allow room for a “spacer” to keep the glass or Plexiglas off the poster. If a framed poster touches glass or Plexiglas, humidity can become trapped causing the poster to eventually adhere to the glass.

Preserve a Rare Vintage Poster

Very rare posters are sometimes linen-backed to preserve them. This is also done sometimes to repair or restore a valuable poster.

To preserve a poster with linen backing, a professional should be consulted, and it can be rather expensive. However, if a poster has good linen backing it could increase the value significantly even if it was in poor condition before being backed.

Take a Look at More Vintage Posters Worth Preserving

Vintage art, music and political posters are fun to collect but the fun is quickly gone if you fail to preserve a poster by not taking care of it properly. It isn't difficult and it isn't expensive to preserve a poster properly. Enjoy collecting and look over our collection of vintage posters again by clicking here.

    Use acid-free sleeves and tubes to store posters
    Light is paper's worst enemy: use UV-filtered glass or plexiglass when framing
    Keep space between the glass and the poster to keep the poster from adhering
    Linen-backing can also preserve posters. Go to a professional!

Highly Collectable Grateful Dead Fan Club Poster, by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, 1967
Grateful Dead Fan Club
by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse

Highly Collectable Wanted: Faith, Beauty, Integrity Poster, 1970
Wanted: Faith, Beauty, Integrity
(Black Panthers Angela Davis, H.Rap Brown and Eldridge Cleaver)

Highly Collectable Changes Poster, by Tom Cervenak and Tom Connell, 1967
by Tom Cervenak and Tom Connell