Want to Hang Pictures in the Bathroom? Here’s What You Should Do

Written by Mark Rogers
hanging pictures in bathroom

You may want to spruce up every room in your house with a little personal decoration on the walls, but some rooms are better equipped to handle framed artwork than others.

When hanging pictures or artwork in the bathroom, the biggest problem you’ll run into is the humidity. Moisture can easily creep into a frame package, allowing mold to take hold and flourish. That doesn’t mean that hanging artwork in the bathroom is a lost cause, though: with a little bit of preparation and the right type of artwork and frame, you’ll never have bare bathroom walls again.

Related: Ways to Hang Pictures Without Nails

1. Hang Moisture-Proof, Replaceable Artwork

Mold can survive on almost any surface, but some materials will particularly encourage growth. Paper-based and wood products are a favorite snack of mold, for example — and it just so happens that much framed artwork is created on paper.

Don’t hang irreplaceable artwork in the bathroom, such as paper-based limited edition prints, documents, original paintings or vintage movie posters. If you do prefer a framed print, consider getting an inexpensive copy that you won’t mind replacing if mold begins to grow or the artwork begins to warp. Though you should not hang original or special canvases in the bathroom, canvas prints are generally safe in the bathroom as they often feature a special coating that can ward off moisture.

Alternatively, hang a framed metal print. Metal prints are made with aluminum, which does not rust or warp, and mold won’t grow nearly as easily — if at all — on these prints. Metal prints don’t require glazing, either, so you won’t have any chance of moisture buildup in the frame. Other items can also be framed in the bathroom, such as tiles, plates and other artwork made from non-paper products.

2. Use a Metal Frame

The bathroom’s constantly changing temperatures may cause wood frames to expand and contract, causing damage to the frame. Instead, use metal frames — our metal frames are made with aluminum, which does not rust and will withstand those fluctuating temperatures.

3. Avoid Glazing, But Use Acrylic When Needed

Moisture can more easily build up inside a framing package when there is glazing. If possible, use artwork that doesn’t require glazing; if you do need to use glazing, use acrylic instead of glass. Acrylic, unlike glass, allows some moisture to pass through, which will prevent moisture from building up inside the frame.

As a bonus, acrylic won’t shatter if the frame falls off the wall — an important factor in a room where you are often barefoot.

4. Vent the Room

Many bathrooms have exhaust fans, so make sure that you actually use it. Run the exhaust fan as soon as you enter the bathroom and for at least 20 minutes after a bath or shower. Leave the bathroom door open when not in use, and if you have a window, leave it open as often as you can.

For the Pros, Create a Sealed Enclosure

There is a way to frame whatever you want in the bathroom: create a sealed frame enclosure. This is generally only done by professionals for extremely valuable items, and it uses many materials that you most likely won’t have laying around the house, such as foil laminate or silica gel paper. Hugh Phibbs, a renowned preservation consultant, has written extensively on the subject of creating sealed enclosures that effectively trap out moisture, outlining methods that have been used to protect important documents such as the Declaration of Independence.

Of course, most people will probably opt to hang that precious artwork elsewhere in the house, instead choosing less important but still appealing artwork in the bathroom. While the bathroom is a place of heat and humidity, the two greatest enemies of wall frames, they can still be a great place to show off your taste in art and décor.

Can You Hang Pictures in Bathrooms?

Yes, you can hang pictures in bathrooms, but there are some considerations to keep in mind due to the room's high humidity and temperature fluctuations. It's advisable to use moisture-resistant materials for both the frame and the artwork itself.

Acrylic glass is often recommended over regular glass, and using a sealed frame can also help protect the artwork. Metal and plastic frames are generally more resilient to moisture than wood. It's also a good idea to use water-resistant wall fixtures. Proper ventilation can help mitigate moisture issues as well.

What Are the Best Picture Frames for Bathroom?

The best picture frames for bathrooms are those made from moisture-resistant materials like metal or high-quality plastic, as they can better withstand the humidity and temperature fluctuations commonly found in bathrooms. Acrylic glass is a good choice over traditional glass because it's more resistant to moisture. It's also beneficial to look for sealed frames to further protect the artwork. Using water-resistant or rust-proof hanging hardware will also help maintain the frame's condition over time.

Where Can I Buy Moisture Proof Picture Frames?

You can buy moisture-proof picture frames at home improvement stores, specialized frame shops like Frame Destination, and online marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy. Many art supply stores also carry frames made from moisture-resistant materials like metal or high-quality plastic. Additionally, you may find suitable options at department stores in the home decor section. Always check the specifications to ensure that the frame is designed to withstand moisture and humidity.

Written by Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers Mark Rogers is the President and Co-Founder of Frame Destination. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Mark has become a leading authority on framing techniques and best practices, and has earned a reputation for his innovative approaches to custom framing and frame services for photographers and artists.