How To Care For Your Tintype

Your tintype is not indestructible, and should be treated with care. Below are some helpful tips to ensure maximum longevity of your new tintype.


1. Do not touch the surface (image) of your tintype with bare hands. The oils of your fingers can damage the surface, so if you must handle it use cotton gloves. 

2. Keep your tintype in the protective plastic cello bag provided with the tintype. It is best to keep it in this until you have figured out how you would like to display your tintype.

3. Silver is what the image of your tintype is composed of, and silver can tarnish, so it is best to protect it from oxidizing (tarnishing). The pollutants that are carried in oxygen are the main culprit so it is best to keep oxygen away from the surface of your image.


Ideas On Displaying Your Tintype

1. The traditional way of protecting a tintype is by varnishing it. This not only protects the images from tarnishing, but it also make sit much more scratch and mar resistant. Most varnishes darken the image and can put a yellowish cast over the image and change the surface texture, so please be mindful of this before choosing to varnish your plate.

2. One way to frame your tintype is the traditional way with a window mat. If you choose to go this route be sure to use acid-free materials as you are sealing your tintype in with it, and non-acid free materials will out-gas the very pollutants that you are trying to protect your tintype from.

3. Another way to frame it is to place glass or acrylic directly onto the surface of the tintype to seal out any oxygen from reaching the thin silver image layer. There is a chance that the image may stick to the glass or acrylic if you pull the two apart in the future though we haven't seen that happen.