What Kind of Art Can You Hang in a Bathroom?

What Kind of Art Can You Hang in a Bathroom?

Most bathrooms get used once or twice a day for showers. This is the only time you’re going to get large amounts of moisture in the air. But over time, humidity can affect any artwork you place in the bathroom.

But wait!

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hang any art in this room!

There are some types of artwork that are much better choices than others when it comes to high-humidity environments. So let’s look at the most common types of artwork and if they’re suitable for bathrooms.

Framed Prints & Photographs

If possible, choose art prints and photos that are printed on acid-free, archival materials because it’s more likely to withstand humidity.

And make sure they’re framed!

My favorite places to buy already framed art prints is iCanvas (with Redbubble and Society6 as a close second) because they’re SUPER inexpensive but very high-quality.

Similar to art prints, any photograph with sentimental value should not be displayed in your bathroom.

Do not hang photos in your bathroom unless you have a digital copy or negatives of the photograph. This way, if there’s any damage you can have it replaced.

You can also use your printer to print your photographs. I recommend using water and smudge resistant photo paper like HP’s Photo Paper Premium Plus (Amazon).

My favorite place to buy photographic prints is Redbubble because they’re affordable but are very high-quality.

If you’re thinking about hanging an art print or a photo in your bathroom, I really encourage you to check out my article: How to Moisture-Proof Picture Frames for Bathrooms

Canvas Prints

Although canvas prints aren’t considered waterproof, they are highly water-resistant.

High-quality canvas prints usually have laminates or sealants applied to it to protect it. Canvas prints such as the ones you can find at iCanvas, Society6, or Redbubble are definitely prints that will withstand moisture and humidity for years.

You can also use a damp cloth to wipe these canvas prints down without fear of damaging them.

However, be careful with some printing companies that might be making their canvas prints with solvent-based printers and chemical inks. This creates a low-quality print that will fade, yellow, streak, or possibly crack in less than a decade.

Some canvas printing companies also make their frames from plywood or other cheap materials that can warp over time, even when the print is hung in a low-humidity room.

But companies like iCanvas make custom frames that are much more durable in humid rooms. iCanvas uses a kiln-dried North American Pine that is finger spliced (a process that removes all of the moisture from the wood to prevent it from shrinking and warping).

Canvas Paintings

Before I put framed art prints in my bathroom, I hung 3 canvas paintings in my bathroom for 4 years. They were still in good shape when I took them down.

The canvases I had were primed and painted using high-quality (artist grade) acrylic paints and kiln-dried fir wood stretcher bars.

As for oil paintings, even though most professional decorators would tell you to never to hang one of these in your bathroom, I’ve heard of people having oil paintings in their bathrooms for over 30 years without any damage.

Just make sure the painting isn’t super expensive or sentimental! Not every acrylic or oil painting uses the same kind of paints or surfaces. So, one person might not have a problem with a painting in their bathroom, but it doesn’t guarantee you won’t have problems with yours!

Wood Wall Art

I typically don’t recommend hanging wood wall art in a bathroom.

Most art print stores that sell wood wall art use birch plywood, which doesn’t play nice with high humidity rooms.

If you really want to hang this type of art in a high humidity room, chances are you’ll need to protect it with layers of water repellent varnish or oil/wax products and you might risk damaging the artwork if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Metal Prints

If you still don’t want to take the risk with the types of wall art mentioned above, maybe you’ll want to consider aluminum metal prints from Society6 or Redbubble.

Not only do metal prints look contemporary, but they stand up to high humidity because they’re waterproof!

Metal Prints from Society6 – Product Demo

Tips for Hanging Artwork in Your Bathroom

1. Inexpensive Art

The best advice I can give you in choosing art to hang in your bathroom is to choose art that’s inexpensive! This way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll easily be able to afford a replacement.

Any artwork with monetary or sentimental value shouldn’t be displayed in a bathroom!

2. Bumper Pads

While hanging any type of artwork, I recommend placing a bumper pad (Amazon) at each corner of the artwork or frame, in the back, before you hang it on the wall.

The bumper pads will create a space between the artwork and the wall.

This step is important because you need air to flow behind the artwork. Without bumper pads, mold can start to grow and ruin the back of the artwork.

3. Exhaust Fan or Dehumidifier

Help keep your bathroom ventilated by turning on your exhaust fan when you’re bathing or showering.

If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you might want to buy a dehumidifier (my absolute favorite one is the ProBreeze Mini Dehumidifier from Amazon.

That’s it! Now you know you can hang art in your bathroom!

So go ahead and buy art, support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!