Outdoor Cabana

Lori M.

May 23, 2003

I am hoping for some suggestions regarding a customer who wants some photos framed for inside a cabana by his swimming pool. The cabana is not heated so consequently in the winter it is dry but very cold.

I am wondering if wood will warp or metal will rust eventually. Is it also necessary to seal the whole thing somehow to prevent any moist air from absorbing into them.

Thanks for your help,
I think the biggest risk is due to sudden changes in temperature, which shouldn't be much of an issue unless the cabana is in Wisconsin. Aluminum won't rust in the usual sense. Stainless hardware wouldn't hurt. Space between glazing and pictures will be especially important.

And I wouldn't hang any heirlooms out there.
How about making copies and laminating them?

One of my customers dry mounted and laminated new posters each summer for the pool area.
Would it be remiss to suggest when they bring the chairs, inner tubes, etc in for the winter that they also take down the art and store it for next season in a place that does not have great temperature fluctuation?
I like the combination of laminating copies of the photos, especially if the originals have any special meaning for your customer, and framing them in an extruded aluminum moulding. Since you are of the Canadian persuasion and the cabana is unheated, the obvious thing to do would be to take the framed photos inside the home for the cold weather or whenever the cabana/pool is out of use. (I suspect that you may get colder weather than Wisconsin and, according to some at least, their weather in the winter sucks)

Wood could possibly warp and the anodized finishes and/or painted finishes of metal mouldings could deteriorate outside but that should be expected as most frame mouldings are manufactured and finished for indoor use only. Your customer has to realize that he is wanting something that may require complete custom building to include milling the moulding, applying a substantial outdoor finish, and using special care in building/fitting the frame package.

Good luck with your project.

Thankyou for everyones help. My customer is very interested in wood moulding and is going to make sure his photos are brought inside during the winter.

Much appreciated,
Given your locale, winter is not the problem.
Museums go to great pains to store their photos in
the cold. The problem will occur on mornings when
the contents of the frame are damp and sunlight
falls on the glass. As the sun warms the damp contents of the frame, causing them to give off
moisture, that moisture will meet the still-cold
glass and condensation will result. The matting
and photo can be kept from getting damp, if they
are sealed in a package, comprising glass and
a metal foil laminate that surrounds the matting
and is bonded to the glass (pictureframingmagazine.com, articles index, preservation practices, July, 2004). Care must be
taken to ensure that the matting materials have the proper conditioning before they are packaged.