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Art, Fading and 3M Films

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

We all love art. Consciously or not, we all know the most famous paintings in the world and for sure everyone can name one of the “greats” – Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo. I myself am a passionate lover of art, my grandfather was an art and antiques dealer, my mother an art teacher, my aunt an artist in Switzerland and my sister an art-history major. Myself however am dexterously challenged when it comes to picking up a paint brush or a pencil, so I merely enjoy the visual stimulus of works done by others. I’ve spent my life collecting small and unique pieces and my home is adorned; with many rooms floor-to-ceiling with art that fits my taste.

Recently however I began to notice that some were fading, losing their vibrancy and colour and thus some of their allure. I freaked out. What was going on? Was the paint evaporating? How were the colours becoming so muted? In the end I did some research and found that the sun light streaming through my big windows was to blame.

But why does this happen; and what can I do to protect my art works?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun break down the chemical bonds in paint and thus fade the colours in an object - it is a bleaching effect. Some objects may be more prone to fading, such as dyed textiles and watercolours. Other objects may reflect the light more, which makes them less prone to fade. Unfortunately, art hanging on the wall has little to no reflective capacity and hence, your art starts to fade rather quickly in the hot summer sun.

So, aside from boxing up the art and leaving it to fester, unwanted in a dark room where light cannot penetrate, what can be done about the fading – that is, how can I stop this damn UV from mucking up my art? In actual fact, it was rather easy and with a click of a mouse and a few words inputted into Google I had found my solution – 3M Sun Control window films.

What’s the secret?

3M Window Films are designed to reduce the effects of solar heat and visible light on your home and office furnishings and will block up to 99.9% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, which are the single largest cause of fading (40%). Depending on the film you choose (see below), 3M Window Films will also block varying percentages of heat and visible light. Those guys at 3M have all the answers, don’t they? Through years of research and development, they’ve created adhesive window films that can be applied to the interior of your home or office windows that can literally almost completely block out those harmful UV rays (not just good news for my art, but good news for my parents who are old and also susceptible to the damage UV can do to their skin).

What did I choose?

As I truly love my art works, I decided I had to go for the best 3M Window Film I could – the 3M Sun Control Prestige 70. The Prestige 70 was designed for usage on the inside surface of windows. Unlike ordinary sun control means this film observes and reflects the sun’s rays. Even distribution of the sun’s rays effectively reduces the effect of dazzle. 3M Sun Control Film Prestige 70 is a multi-layer and metal free film based on nanotechnology. It has a uniquely high visual light transmission for a film that has exceptionally high heat reduction capabilities. The film also significantly almost the entire amount of UVA rays which are the main cause of fading. The patented multi-layer construction and manufacturing process guarantees a high quality and an even longer warranty and life expectancy compared to other film solutions.

The Prestige 70 is truly “the don” and saved my works of art before any irrevocable damage was done. I can sleep well at night and relax easy during the day knowing that now, after installing the Prestige 70 not only my art works are safe from fading, but my floors, furnishings and basically everything (including my pets and parents) are in good hands.

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