How To Flatten A Poster

When you order a poster online, it more than likely arrived rolled up in a tube. The challenge is, of course, trying to get the poster to lay flat without doing any damage to it.  Thankfully, there are steps you can take at home to get your poster looking nice and new again. Here’s how to flatten a poster without causing any damage.

How To Flatten A Poster: 3 Methods To Get Your Poster Decoration-Ready

Flattening a rolled poster is important if you want it to hang nicely on your wall. Here are a few different ways to make this happen.

How To Flatten A Poster Tip #1: Weigh It Down

Perhaps the simplest way to make a rolled poster lay flat is by weighing it down with heavy objects placed around the edges of the poster. This can include heavy books, or some other household weights of your choosing. Follow the steps below to safely weigh your poster down without doing any damage to the poster itself.

  1. Unroll the poster.
  2. Lay the poster flat, image-side down, on a clean, flat surface.
  3. On each corner, place a heavy object. Heavy books, magazines, plates, and even heavy weights work well. For extra protection, we suggest purchasing a matboard from any craft supply store to place on top of your poster, in between the poster and the heavy objects. You can also place heavy craft paper between the poster and the weights for extra protection. 
  4. This step takes quite a bit of time to work. Leave the poster flat underneath the heavy objects for at least a day, but it may need even more. If you remove the heavy objects from the poster and it still rolls, leave the poster flat under the weights for an additional day and repeat as necessary.

How To Flatten A Poster Tip #2: The Reverse-Roll

Another possible solution to make your poster lay flat is to reverse roll the poster. The concept here is quite simple: If your poster is curled in one direction, just curl it the other way to try and undo it. Follow the steps below to reverse roll your poster, and be extremely careful not to create any wrinkles or creases on the poster as you go.

  1. Unroll the poster.
  2. Spread it image-side down on a clean surface.
  3. Roll the poster in the opposite direction it was rolled initially. 
  4. Secure it with rubber bands (avoid tape or stickers if possible to avoid ripping the poster).
  5. Leave the poster in a safe environment for a couple of hours to avoid accidents, creases, and wrinkles.
  6. Unroll– if it still doesn’t lay all the way flat, reverse roll again and leave it for a few hours. Or, another poster flattening method listed here.

How To Flatten A Poster Tip #3: Place It In A Frame

Last but not least is the option to merely place your poster in a frame to flatten it out. Not only will placing the poster in a frame help it to lay flat inside the frame, it will also protect the poster from any damage caused by simply hanging it freely on your wall. It’s a win-win solution, even if it might cost you some additional money to purchase a frame.

  1. Unroll the poster.
  2. Acquire a frame that matches the dimensions of your poster.
  3. Open the back of the frame and place the poster inside, image-side down against the glass.
  4. Place the back of the frame back on and fasten it into place. 
  5. Hang the newly framed poster on your wall safely, making sure it’s level. Ideally, this will flatten the poster and keep it safe at the same time.

Have A Torn Or Wrinkled Poster? Tips For Safely Repairing Small Damage

While you were surely taking all sorts of extra precautions during the previous steps, it’s possible that some tearing or wrinkling may have occurred. If you’ve put some extra wrinkles and creases in your poster while trying to flatten it, there are a few ways you can fix the issue without adding extra damage to your poster. Let’s take a look below.

Remove Wrinkles From Your Poster: Spray & Iron Method

The spray and iron method is a tried and true solution for wrinkly posters. Of course, it’s also one of the riskiest — you are, after all, using water and heat on a paper product. Proceed to the following steps with caution and you will do great.

  1. Place your poster image-side down on a clean, flat surface like a table or ironing board.
  2. Lay a bath towel over the poster.
  3. With a spray bottle, dampen the towel slightly. You don’t want it to be completely wet, just a bit damp.
  4. With your iron on the lowest setting, iron the poster through the bath towel.
  5. Be extremely cautious, and even if the wrinkles persist, do not turn up the heat of the iron.

Repairing Small Tears On Your Poster

If your poster is now wrinkle-free but has gotten a few small tears in the process, there are a few different tools you can use to repair small tears on your poster. Explore your different options below.

  1. Archival tape. This tape does not yellow or degrade over time, and is easily removable with a bit of heat or water. It’s the perfect solution for a small tear on your poster. 
  2. Get your poster professionally backed. Professional backing is, essentially, fixing it to a piece of cardboard, mat board, or foam to keep it fixed in place on a sturdy surface. In the process of backing the poster, any existing tears will be corrected.
  3. Use a Japanese paper patch. While certainly more complex-sounding than archival tape or professional backing, Japanese paper patches are one of the oldest and easiest tricks in the book for repairing small tears. Using tissue paper and a thin layer of wheat starch paste, the poster can be patched as good as new. The process is not unlike a more delicate paper mache.

Tips For Long-Term Poster Care

Long-term poster care is as important as getting your poster to lay flat and keeping it damage-free. Follow these steps to keep your poster looking pristine and brand-new for years to come.

  1. Frame your poster, if possible. Framing puts a strong, protective layer between your poster and the elements it might face — like dust or moisture. 
  2. Avoid using tape, thumbtacks, and nails to hang your poster. These things can tear and damage your poster, either with the acid in tape or the holes made by the thumbtacks or nails. Use archival tape instead, which is acid-free and safe for posters.
  3. Keep out of direct sunlight, if possible. Direct sunlight is a surefire way to fade and yellow the colors on your poster in no time at all. 
  4. If your poster needs to be stored, use plastic sleeves and store it in a dark environment. This will not only protect its edges from bending, creasing, tearing, or wrinkling, but it will also keep it from fading or staining in the light.

Print Your Own Posters At Banana Print

If you’re looking for a professional service for all your poster printing needs, look no further than Banana Print. With over 10 years of experience in the printing industry, Banana Print has developed a web-to-print system available to you 24/7. Visit our website to learn more about making and printing your own posters today.

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