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Thoughts from our Product Guy: Enjoying Your Outdoor Art this Spring

Happy Birthday to me! Today is my 5th birthday and I am sooo excited!

Okay, that’s not quite true. In actual fact today marks the 5-year anniversary of the first outdoor prints we ever created.  As you’ve likely heard before from us, our business idea was conceived in our own backyard.  We were printing outdoor artwork for our own  pleasure long before we thought of opening a business.  When we finally did launch Off the Wall On the Fence almost 2 years ago now, we noticed that while other businesses were claiming they produced weather-poof outdoor art, they were often selling canvas wrapped art originally intended for the indoors that had been treated with chemicals to last through a season or two outside at best. 

To be clear, that is not what we do.  We work with a highly reputable commercial printing company here in Canada, that produces our art using lightfast inks on 2mm ABS plastic sheets.  As a result, our prints will not crack in extreme cold weather, or fade in the sun.  We use aluminum standoffs to hang the art – they won’t rust in the elements and they allow the fence or surface to breathe.  The airflow around the artwork eliminates any opportunity for moisture, insects and rot to set in behind the artwork. We felt so confident about the commercial-grade quality of our prints that we decided to offer a 5-year replacement guarantee up front.

Our backyard is really more of a laboratory than a regular backyard, (which serves my geek-factor since I always wanted to be a scientist), and I have been observing our first prototypes in all weather conditions for 5 years now.  It’s thrilling to see how great these originals still look!

Whether we are thinking about product design, image selection options or ease of installation, our focus has always been on our customers first.  So I thought, since we have a few years under our belt and we have customers now across Canada and into the United States, this would be a good time to provide some tips on how to best maintain your outdoor art prints so you can enjoy them for many years to come:

  1. In the Spring and Fall, check the tightness of your standoff screws to make sure they are snug, but never use tools on the standoffs.
  2. If you do find the standoffs have loosened, I’ve been testing the use of Teflon plumber’s tape – the stuff you put on the threads of plumbing fixtures before you screw them together – and so far it seems to do a great job of keeping the standoffs tight. If you’d like to try that, a roll of Teflon tape is under $2 at any hardware store, home improvement or plumbing supply store. 
  3. If your prints are looking a little dirty after a long, mucky winter and you’d like to do a little Spring cleaning, we have great news. All you have do to is spray your artwork down with a garden hose.  Your print doesn’t require any cleaners, solvents or other cleaning methods. 

We have had some folks reach out to us when they’ve lost a standoff or two – if that’s happened to you please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will send you new hardware free of charge.  And, as always, we are here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions or concerns – we want you to love your artwork as much as we love ours!

John, Product Guy, Off the Wall On the Fence