It is really tempting to laminate your sketch cards or ACEOs, but should you? That is quite a question!

Sure, it prevents smudges and damage from touching, but at what price? It seems like it may be a good way to protect it from damage, but it creates damage of its own.

Any moisture on the paper during the time of lamination will stay in the paper. Over time, that can cause the paper to deteriorate faster than just leaving it open to the elements. The adhesives in the lamination material can also damage the artwork. It also does not protect against light damage. Since lamination film is not UV resistant, both the plastic and the paper is still susceptible to the damage of the UV rays.

If you are using oil pastels or waxy colored pencils, hot press lamination is a BAD idea. You can ask @Killercat2020 about that! haha! It will push the oils around and out of the lamination sheet. It ruins the work AND it ruins the lamination machine.

Laminating will also diminish the value of the work. Since it is near impossible to get the work back out of the lamination sheets, it cannot be preserved.

Now... if you are just trading for the fun of it between some friends, then lamination can be a really fun way to play around. But, consider laminating prints, instead of the original artwork.

A good alternative to laminating your art, consider looking into fixatives that are specifically made for the medium you chose to use. Varnishes are also a good idea. They are made specially for artworks.

I hope this little bit of info helps with how to preserve your hard work!
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