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Rian Fabrication Services  www.rianfabrication.com

Suggestions for framing that will remain outside in all weather?

bsoucy

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
8
I had a customer contact me yesterday looking for options for matting and framing a photograph to be displayed in the cemetery on a ground stake that he made. Initially I thought perhaps an acrylic frame display or box to encase the framed piece (like Gemini acrylic displays, for example) might work, but was told the seams are not going to be waterproof. The biggest concerns are water and UV light damage. Before I tell him I can't help him, does anyone have any suggestions?
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
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I would look more at creating the photo that would endure the best. Perhaps printed on aluminum panel, or a dye transfer process. Check with sign makers about options. Weatherproof frames are pretty much non-existent, and even with the best pigments and highest UV rated glass, the photo won't hold up well to direct sunlight.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
879
I've had people ask me the same question and I concluded it really can't be done with photos and framing materials. The best suggestion I had for my customers was trophy shops and monument companies can sometimes etch the photo into either metal or stone.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
11,687
I just hung a print of my new frame shop outside my new frame shop. It was printed on ACM, and my printer assures me it is colourfast. I’m using a Nielsen metal. In this case I’m lucky, because it faces north, and is under an eave.
 
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nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
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583
When I've been approached a few times about outdoor displays I just tell people that's not something many framers do.

I keep an old 24x36 laminated and dry-mounted photo we used as a temporary outdoor sign to show people what to expect trying to save money by not getting it done the right. way. Whereas that same technique can be a perfectly serviceable indoor display (depending on environmental conditions).
Permanent (or very long-lasting) weatherproof outdoor displaying is the pervue of most sign shops, or specialty printers (as others have mentioned).

Sometimes the best customer service is to guide the person to someone who can provide the service they are looking for, rather than trying to do something you have no experience in yourself.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
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Apr 5, 2008
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31,410
It's also good if whatever is used can withstand cleaning. Tombstone photos end up with mineral deposits from sprinkler water, so this likely would, too.
 

bsoucy

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
8
Thank you all for your responses. I appreciate your feedback. :)
 

Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,358
Another problem would be condensation on the inside of glazing which would obscure or ruin the photo.

They can do some amazing things with engraving nowadays - I had an 8x10 done as a memorial to my kitties and it is holding up nicely in full sunlight for the last 20+ years attached to the chicken wire of my catio.
 
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Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,358
Another factor:

Metal frames may hold up to being exposed to weather (not sunlight) but the steel hardware will rust and be perfectly awful.

I tried to frame my license plate (which you see as my Avatar) and it looked great for a couple of months but soon I had to give up on the nice red frame and ended up with a plate-holder from the car dealership.
 

wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
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People in the awards and monument business have a process that bakes the image onto a ceramic product in a kiln. I don't know much about the actual process, but it makes an attractive and very long-lasting product. I have seen some in our local cemeteries that are 20 years old but still look as fresh as the day they were installed.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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11,687
I hope so, at $200 for a 4x6!
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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May 19, 2000
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17,925
Another factor:

Metal frames may hold up to being exposed to weather (not sunlight) but the steel hardware will rust and be perfectly awful.

I tried to frame my license plate ...
My company vans had framed license plates for years. Wood finishes usually faded quickly and lasted through about five or six rains before it split, peeled, or otherwise disintegrated. Polystyrene frames faded, too - maybe even worse than the wood - but lasted much longer. Sectional aluminum frames lasted for years, but their finishes didn't. Painted aluminum peeled, and anodized aluminum only faded. My final solution was to use silver anodized aluminum, which lasted more than four years.

Mar, you're absolutely right about the steel hardware rusting to the point that, after just a few months, the screws could not be easily removed. To minimize that problem, I coated the hardware with Plasti-Dip before, and again after, assembly. Months later, I was able to disassemble the frames by scraping the plastic out of the screw slots, and a drop of penetrating oil loosened them enough to turn. You could get stainless steel screws, but why bother? Easy peezy.
 

JFeig

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Oct 13, 1999
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4,536
I have no idea how they are made.

edit ---- just found this
 
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wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
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I know a guy who does this. If this gets to be a serious possibility for you, let me know and I will get you together. He only does wholesale production.
 

bsoucy

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
8
Another problem would be condensation on the inside of glazing which would obscure or ruin the photo.

They can do some amazing things with engraving nowadays - I had an 8x10 done as a memorial to my kitties and it is holding up nicely in full sunlight for the last 20+ years attached to the chicken wire of my catio.
thank you :)
 

bsoucy

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
8
I know a guy who does this. If this gets to be a serious possibility for you, let me know and I will get you together. He only does wholesale production.
Thank you. I think this will be a "one and done" project though
 

bsoucy

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
8
I have no idea how they are made.

edit ---- just found this
thank you for your help! :)
 
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