How to Moisture-Proof Picture Frames for a Bathroom (A Look at How To Make a Humidity-Proof, Water-Resistant Frame + A Waterproof Alternative)

Can You Put Framed Pictures in the Bathroom?

Absolutely! And in this post, I’m going to show you how I moisture-proofed picture frames for my bathroom with mostly cheap products I bought online on Amazon!

This process is:

  1. Super inexpensive,
  2. Super easy,
  3. And it actually works!

I’ve had the same 4 framed art prints in my bathroom for 6 years and my prints and aluminum picture frames (Amazon) look as good as the day I bought them!

How Do You Moisture-Proof a Picture Frame in a Bathroom?
(6 Easy Steps)

Step #1: Pick The Right Artwork

Option #1: Metal Prints (Easiest Option & Waterproof)

If by any chance you read this article and you just don’t want to take the time to moisture-proof a picture frame, just know that there’s an EASY option…

You can buy metal prints (made of aluminum) and they’re completely waterproof, out of the box.

Not only do metal prints look contemporary, but they’re the best at standing up to high-humidity bathrooms.

Shop for a metal print, like the ones on Society6 and Redbubble, and you’re DONE! You can skip the rest of the steps below!

But, if you prefer to frame art prints or photos, keep reading!

Metal Prints from Society6 – Product Demo

Option #2: Art Prints

If possible, choose an art print that’s printed on acid-free, archival materials because it’s more likely to withstand humidity.

My favorite places to buy these types of high-quality, archival art prints are Redbubble and Society6.

If you’re choosing art for a steamy bathroom, I really recommend choosing prints that are on the cheaper side (but still high-quality). This way, if anything goes wrong, you’ll easily be able to afford a replacement.

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

Art Prints from Society6 – Product Demo

Option #3: Photos

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

My suggestion for photos is this:

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

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

You can also buy photographic prints on Redbubble. These are made with archival quality paper that will endure humidity.

Step #2: Picture Frame & Matting

Frames, glass, and plexiglass all help protect your pictures and prints from moisture. Not only will these things create a moisture barrier for your pictures or prints, but they will also make your prints look like expensive pieces of fine art!

For frames, stick to wood painted with waterproof sealant, metal, or plastic because these are water-resistant. There are plenty of inexpensive, moisture-resistant frames on Amazon with glass and matting.

Why do you need matting? It prevents the photo or print to stick to the glass/plexiglass by creating a space between them.

If you want to skip step #2, you can find already framed and matted prints from both Society6 and Redbubble! But make sure to go to step #3. You’re almost done!

Framed Art Prints from Society6 – Product Video

Step #3: Moisture-Proof Frames with Proper Backing

In the back of most frames, there’s a removable backing (Amazon) that you take out in order to place a photo or print inside the frame. This removable frame backing is usually made of something called fiberboard (it’s like thick cardboard).

Fiberboard is OK for frames hung in most rooms. But it’s not OK for high-humidity bathrooms.

You need to replace this fiberboard backing with a piece of foam board.

My absolute favorite foam board the ones by Mat Board Center (Amazon) because they come pre-cut in many different sizes, ready for your frame.

Foam boards will help with any moisture from getting all the way to your photo or art print.

Step #4: Moisture-Proof Frames with Frame Tape

Now you want to put some frame tape (Amazon) to seal the gaps behind the frame to make it airtight.

Just watch the video below to see how EASY this step is. You can even watch the video with no volume on because there’s no need for instructions.

Picture Frame Backing Tape

Step #5: Moisture-Proof Frames with Bumper Pads

On the back of the picture frame, place a bumper pad (Amazon) at each corner before you hang it on the wall.

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

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

Step #6: Getting Rid of Humidity

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 on Amazon).

Conclusion: Protecting Framed Art From Humidity

If you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful bathroom, then you probably want to hang some wall art in there. But hanging pictures in a bathroom can be a problem, especially in small bathrooms where the humidity can be high.

Here’s a quick recap for creating bathroom friendly picture frames so they’ll last for years:

  • Look for frames that are made of durable materials that are resistant to moisture, like metal or plastic. If you use a wooden frame, make sure it’s water-resistant (usually painted with a waterproof sealant).
  • Using a frame with matting (Amazon) will prevent the photo or print to stick to the glass/plexiglass by creating a space between them.
  • Replace this backing of the frame with a piece of foam board (Amazon).
  • Put some frame tape (Amazon) to seal the gaps behind the frame to make it airtight.
  • On the back of the picture frame, place a bumper pad (Amazon) at each corner before you hang it on the wall.
  • Help keep your bathroom ventilated by turning on your exhaust fan when you’re bathing or showering or turning on a dehumidifier (Amazon).
  • Avoid hanging pictures directly over the shower or tub, where they’ll be exposed to the most steam and moisture.
  • If you’re looking for waterproof pictures for bathrooms, metal prints from Society6 or Redbubble are a great alternative to framed prints or photos.

Picture frames are an important part of any bathroom decor. By following the simple steps above, you can ensure that the prints and picture frames will stay moisture-free and look great on your walls for years to come.