A work of art gives a great feeling. Once it makes it to your home, ensure its lifespan by thinking about how certain factors will affect the state of your artwork.
Educating yourself about how to care for, clean, and store your artworks is one of the wisest things you will ever do.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORK
Learning how to protect your artwork from damage is an essential part of building an art collection. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy precautions you can take to make sure that your art will look pristine for generations to come.
How to Protect Your Artwork, if it’s Framed
1. Avoid or limit direct or indirect sunlight
Exposure to intense sunlight can drain the color from almost anything, including your favorite work of art. Avoid hanging your artwork anywhere where it will receive regular doses of direct or indirect sunlight.
2. Frame with acrylic or plexiglass, not glass
If you don’t want the sun dictating your design choices, make sure that your picture is framed with a UV filtering plexiglass or acrylic rather than glass. Plexi is actually lighter to hang than glass and will protect your art from fading or yellowing in direct sunlight.
3. Pay attention to humidity
The amount of water in the air can have a huge impact on your art’s overall health. Make sure to monitor your home’s humidity level and, ideally, keep it around 55%. You can track your home’s humidity with a simple hygrometer.
4. Watch your hands
Always avoid directly touching your paintings or acrylic framing surfaces without wearing cotton gloves. If you do, you risk damaging them by exposure to your fingerprints and natural oils.
5. Keep your glass or acrylics squeaky clean
When cleaning the glass or acrylic panel protecting your artwork, always use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or microfiber towel. It would be best if you also considered purchasing an acrylic or ammonia-free glass cleaner.
How to Protect Your Artwork, if it’s Unframed
6. Don’t leave your art in a tube
If you are not ready to hang your art yet, definitely do not leave it rolled up in a protective tube. You always want to store your art flat. Oil or acrylic paint or embellished paintings stored in tubes can become stained, cracked, or dried up if left rolled up for too long.
7. Dust – don’t clean – your paintings
If you have a unique painting that’s not behind glass or acrylic, don’t use any cleaners or solvents on the surface to clean your painting. Instead, just lightly dust off the artwork with a soft feather duster or sable brush.
8. Keep your stored artwork separated
When you store multiple artworks, always keep something in between each work while lying flat. Place a 2- or 4-ply rag or conservation acid-free mat board in between each work. This will help protect the artwork from acidic damage, curling, and potential creasing.
9. Store art in a cool, dry, dark place
Pantry rules apply when you are trying to protect unframed artwork. The best way to avoid damage from sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuations is to keep your art somewhere cool, dry, and dark.
10. Consider a “Solander” box
If you want to be sure that your art stays protected, you might want to invest in a “Solander” or clamshell box. These are acid-free boxes with hinged front panels purchased from conservation suppliers used to store manuscripts, maps, prints, drawings, documents, old and precious books, etc.
Congratulations on collecting the perfect piece for your home and for taking the time to make sure it shines for years to come.
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