How to Care for Your Art
Educating yourself about how to protect your artwork is one of the wisest things you will ever do if you plan to continue collecting and investing in art. Here are some basics to follow so you can enjoy your art for decades to come.
General Handling of Your Artwork
Scratches, breaks, rips or chips can happen easily. Take great care when handling your artwork!
- Carry canvases by holding the sides. Carry glass and Lucite pieces firmly and carefully.
- Avoid touching the surface of the piece as much as possible.
- Do not lean anything against the surface of the piece at any time.
Transporting Your Artwork
- To transport your canvas wall art for a short distance you may wrap it lightly, or even not at all, as long as nothing is placed on the piece during transport and it is in a secure place.
- To transport your glass and Lucite pieces even short distances, wrap carefully with bubble wrap and then remove promptly when arriving to your destination.
- Wrap your artwork well if you plan to transport a longer distance or ship it. Place a heavy piece of cardboard over the front and back of canvas pieces. Then bubble wrap and place in a suitable heavy cardboard box. Pack securely, as rough handling can easily damage the piece.
Displaying Your Artwork
- Over time artworks can accumulate a thin layer of dust and airborne grime from cooking oils, smoking, or even insect specks. Displaying your piece away from these things is best.
- Keep your artworks out of direct sunlight. Your artwork might have a protective layer of varnish, but it is still possible for it to crack or fade if subjected to bright sunlight for long periods of time.
- Avoid subjecting your artworks to extreme conditions or changes in atmosphere. Avoid excessive dryness, humidity, heat or cold, as these can cause canvas puckering, paint cracking, etc..
- For glass pieces especially, display in a safe and secure location, away from shaking and rattling (like under a staircase) or a place that is easily bumped.
- Do not frame canvas pieces under glass. The atmosphere causes small, subtle shifts over time so it is best to leave them without glass to allow them to flow with these slight changes.
- Hang using hooks made specifically for artwork, and secure into a stud in the wall, especially for heavier pieces.
Cleaning Your Artwork
- Dust lightly with a clean, soft rag occasionally to prevent dust buildup.
- Do not use cleaning products or water.
Maintaining Your Artwork
- Check the condition of your artwork periodically. If artwork is beginning to fade or crack, move it to a better place to avoid damaging it further.
- If your artwork does get damaged, don’t fix it yourself. Use a qualified conservator. Amateur repairs can reduce the value of your artwork drastically.
Storing Your Artwork
- Do not stack artwork. Do not lean artworks on one another directly. Pieces of cardboard can be used in between to avoid damage.
- Do not cover artworks with plastic for long periods of time to avoid humidity in the air causing mold. Cotton sheets are best for keeping dust away.