Help! My frame has mould!
Updated: Apr 13
It will come as no surprise that with the wet weather we’ve had this year, people are dealing with mould. We encourage you to check your frames. They are holding important items and mould is best caught before it spreads.
Items that are particularly at risk include: Frames with MDF backs
Paper items, particularly watercolours
Unsealed frames (No tape on the back)
Items in storage or uncontrolled environments (sheds)
If you have discovered mould on your frames, here are a couple of steps that you can take to prevent further damage and prepare for professional cleaning/reframing.
Safety Note: Mould Spores are easily spread and it is important to wear proper PPE (Mask, goggles, gloves & old clothes) while dealing with it. If possible work outside, away from other belongings.
Disassemble and dispose of framing items that are affected (MDF backing boards, paper mats & glass)
Use discretion when dealing with real timber frames. Treatment is possible, however it is important to decide if it is worth it.
Artworks can be treated with sunlight, however this has the risk of environmental exposure/damage and fading of the colours.
Glen 20 is a generally accepted mould treatment. However, always spot test and precede with extreme caution. Many surfaces are sensitive to different substances and applying any product has the risk of irreversible damage.
Getting a professional involved:
Yes, we deal with mould but…
If you need to bring an item that has been affected by mould in for repairs/cleaning/reframing, please dispose of affected backing boards, mats and possibly frame and clean the surface mould as best you can. Glass that is mouldy will need to be replaced. Believe it or not the spores become embedded in the glass. Reducing the amount of mould brought into our workshop is imperative to protecting everyone’s precious works.
Once the appropriate disposal and cleaning has taken, please transport the work in a plastic bag/container. Do not remove it from its containment unless directed by one of our staff. When dealing with mould, we take all the necessary precautions to prevent cross contamination from occurring.
If you are unsure how to treat your specific artwork, please call us. We can give more specific advise over the phone or may suggest you bring it in for us to have a look. If we request you bring the work in, please wrap it in plastic.
Sometimes more specialist professionals are required to remediate mould. These can be tradespeople for general mould control or artwork conservationists to recover and repair artworks. We have some contacts for conservationists if required.
Disclaimer: This is general advice for mild cases of mould on framed items. If there are significant amounts of mould or a valuable/irreplaceable item has been affected, please contact the appropriate specialist. Murray’s Art and Framing is not liable for any damages that may occur in following this generalised advice.
Learn more about the framing services we provide on our Framing Page.