How to Look After Artwork & Paintings

A painting should never be taken for granted; taking care of your art is essential.

When we think of the care-taking of art, we imagine intensive treatments, masks, little brushes, and lots of time consuming hard work. Well, that’s certainly true of restoration work, and during the course of a piece of art’s long life, it does have enemies. Knocks, tears, staining, environmental and pest damage can take its toll. But by following a few tips and tricks, you can enjoy your painting for many years to come, and protect your investment.

One of the worst offenders for damaging art is moving. Occasionally to a different room, but especially to a new property. The key to this is working out how to move the artwork, and where to move it to, first. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help if needed, particularly for larger pieces.

Take time to ensure that the corners of the frame or canvas are adequately protected. It’s always best to wear gloves when handling paintings, as the oils from your fingers can cause damage to certain finishes. If possible, try not to leave your paintings in storage for extended periods.

This takes us to the dangers that come from all sorts of creepy-crawlies, which can cause a real headache for collectors. Apologies in advance for any itchiness that reading this may cause!

These bugs enjoy warm, humid and dark places. If you have your painting stored in a place that is rarely visited this is even more likely to make your art an attractive food source for moths, worms and beetles. If kept in storage, a regular inspection is essential to make ensure your art is unaffected.

The environment in which your painting is displayed is also incredibly important. Keep your painting out of direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will cause the painting to fade over time. Your painting should be hung in a cool, dry spot, free from strong sunlight passing over it.

It seems that there are a lot of things to remember, but by just being protective of your painting this will become second nature.