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Can You Hang Canvas Art in the Bathroom? Is it Safe?

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By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Is Hanging Canvas Art In The Bathroom A Good Idea

On your last shopping adventure, you found the most beautiful canvas artwork. It promotes serenity and calmness and would be perfect in your bathroom that is long overdue for a style update. But, then logic sets in and you wonder if you can even hang canvas art in your bathroom?

Can You Hang Canvas Art in the Bathroom?  Yes, it is fine to hang canvas art in the bathroom (with very few exceptions). Usually, the concern with artwork in the bathroom is the exposure to steam and moisture. Most people assume that it will ruin a canvas work of art…luckily this is not the case.

When Is Is Okay To Hang Canvas Art In The Bathroom?

Honestly, it is pretty much always okay to hang canvas art in the bathroom. I will go into more detail below, but because the humidity is intermittent and canvas is pretty durable, it shouldn’t cause a problem. Just think, people in New Orleans have canvas artwork on their walls and the humidity is average humidity of 74.5 percent on a regular basis!

To prove this theory, blogger Kelli Ann did a trial where she hung a canvas in her bathroom and tracked the effects over a 6-month period. During her test, there was no damage to her art. Are you starting to believe me now?

The one exception to the rule is if the artwork is very valuable or sentimental. While it is unlikely that the humidity in the bathroom will destroy canvas, it would be a shame to ruin something that is irreplaceable.

If you have a valuable piece of art that you absolutely MUST see in your bathroom you can either go to an art shop and have a varnish applied to protect from the humidity or have a replica of the art made and keep the original elsewhere.

What Is The Difference Between A Canvas Print and Painted Canvas?

There are two popular types of canvas art, prints, and paint. Both are okay to hang in the bathroom, but a print on stretched canvas is less likely to sustain damage from moisture.

canvas art bathroom

In a print, the image is actually transferred directly onto the material and becomes a part of the canvas. On the other hand, the paint sits on the surface, and while it may look nice, there is more susceptibility to damage. Either way, you can hang the art in the bathroom, I just wanted you to know the differences.

If you do want a painted canvas, I suggest using a varnish – I give a great DIY for this below, so keep reading!

Prepare Your Art To Withstand Humidity

As I mentioned, you can prepare artwork to hold up to the moisture in a bathroom. If you don’t want to go to a professional, there is a way you can protect your artwork without a lot of cost or effort.

Here is a video showing a DIY method to coat canvas artwork before you put it into humidity.

To complete this project, you will need either a liquid or spray varnish and a Varnish brush. Just make sure you pay attention to what type of finish you choose, the most popular being satin, glossy or matte.

Canvas is usually stretched over wood, which can also be a concern. You can use a varnish on the wood to add an extra layer of protection. Also, it is best to avoid framing a canvas. Moisture can become trapped behind the glass and create mold/mildew, yuck!

Prepare The Bathroom To Best Protect Your Art

There are also ways you can set up the bathroom to reduce moisture and protect your artwork. First, make sure you use the vent fan and keep it on while you bathe and then let it run for about an hour afterward. It is also helpful to leave a window open to let in fresh air and reduce humidity after you shower.

A good test to see how humid your bathroom gets is to check the walls after your shower and see if condensation is collecting. In Kelli’s trial above, even though she was able to see condensation on her walls, her artwork was still untouched.

If you want to be scientific, you can also use a humidity gauge. Again, even if you don’t do this your artwork should be fine, but it adds extra peace of mind!

And finally, when you hang your art, make sure you keep it a bit further from the wall so that air can flow behind the artwork and prevent moisture from collecting.

Create The Perfect Canvas To Hang In The Bathroom

Are you having trouble finding the right canvas to hang in your bathroom? That’s okay! Now is the time to get creative. You can find a print or photo you love and put it on canvas yourself. Believe it or not, it is actually really simple to make your own canvas print.

Here is a great tutorial.

The tools you will need:

Remember, get a print that is the same size as the canvas, or 1-2 inches bigger on each side if you want to wrap the image to the sides of the canvas. How cool is it that you can be your own designer and artist? Your guests will surely be impressed.

If you are still nervous about hanging a canvas in your bathroom, which I hope you aren’t, you can also have a photo/image printed on a material like metal. Many companies offer this service and it is a surefire way to have artwork that will withstand the bathroom conditions.


So, are you ready to hang your canvas in the bathroom? I hope so! Let’s recap what you have learned.

  • Canvas is generally okay to hang in the bathroom except for very valuable or sentimental art.
  • Canvas artwork is usually a print or paint – both are okay to hang in the bathroom.
  • You can have a professional add a protective varnish, or you can do it yourself.
  • Make sure you use the ventilation in your bathroom and open a window periodically for airflow.
  • Get that canvas on the wall and enjoy your new style!

Share with me what canvas artwork you have hanging in your bathroom below.

Photo: Janet Brooks Design
Photo: Jedan Brothers Contracting

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