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preserving polaroids?


TPF Noob!
Dec 2, 2007
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Hi everyone,

I would like to know if anyone knows any method (even a "non-official" one...for example I have thought of using transparent spray or something...haven't tried yet though) to preserve the colours of the polaroids, which tend to fade quickly otherwise (I am talking about the peel-off kind, that some of you use for lighting tests).

any advice will be much appreciated!

You can scan them or have them scanned to turn them into a digital format.
You can scan them or have them scanned to turn them into a digital format.

Hi, and thank you for the advice. Actually I forgot to mention that, even though this is the easiest way to get around the problem, it is vital for me and my art project that the polas remain polas! I want to be able to say they are polas, too...so scanning them and re-printing them on archivial paper will be the last option...anyone else has any other ideas?

thanks again
transparent spray will not keep light away from them. And I guess it is the light which makes them bleach quickly, isn't it? I might be mistaken though.

Hmm, what if you scan and print out the polaroids? I mean the whole polaroids including the frame!

Best done without pressing the polaroid onto the scanner, so you get some curvature in the plane.

that should look rather authentic and with the right ink it will last much longer than the polaroids themselves.
There are sprays and coatings that will reduce the amount of UV radiation reaching the print. I use water-based Golden UVLS Gloss Polymer Varnish applied with a low pressure high volume (LPHV) sprayer, though I don't use it for Polaroids (I rarely shoot colour Polaroid). Golden recommend four or five coats for protection. This changes the surface appearance of the print quite a lot. A single coat would have little effect on UV. That is true for almost all sprayed protective coatings.

There are other UV-inhibiting varnishes, including some in spray cans that are not water based. One of the best spraycan varnishes I've used is Macdonald Sureguard, but it is very unpleasant to apply thanks to the solvent.

I'd just like to reiterate that I have never used these materials on Polaroid prints, but I have used them on other prints that are susceptible to UV-induced fading.

If you try sprays, I would test the non-water based sprays if they do any harm to the surface of the polaroid .. and wait some time to see the effect.
I'd recommend testing all coatings before using them on important prints.

If you want to avoid coating the print, then just display them behind UV-protective glass or acrylic. That is the Polaroid-recommended way.

This is a great advice, I will look for these sprays and test them. Thank you so much.

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