How do I frame an old cel that looks damaged?

How do I frame an old cel that looks damaged?

Dear Animated Advice:

I have an old piece of art from my family and it’s been in the closet for a long time.  It’s of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, but the paint looks like it’s been melted.  It isn’t framed now but i’d like to keep it from getting worse.  What do you suggest?


Steve in Ontario


Dear Steve:

Is the ink line leeching into the cel?  That bright pink is pretty intense and sometimes with too much heat it can do that.  If so, restoration really isn’t an option (not that you said you were interested in that.  I’m just saying..) The best way is to get it out of the closet immediately, put it in a room that doesn’t get hotter than 80 degrees and stays relatively consistent.  Framing it isn’t as important, but it WILL help protect that art, that’s for sure.  If you want to protect it, and keep further damage away, frame it with a fillet so the art is distanced from the UV plexiglass (which you should use) and the framer will know to do that in the archival way, and then use archival mats and UV plexiglass, obviously without dry mounting or any of that.  If you hang it, use a wall that doesn’t get direct sunlight.  Hope that helps!


Leslie Combemale, for ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery