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How To Take Care of Canvas Paintings

  • 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.
  • Do not lean anything against the surface of a canvas. Objects near a painting may not seem sharp enough to pierce the canvas, but it is always surprising what will cause a scratch or a rip. Prevent accidents and store your artworks away from anything that might press against the surface. Try not to lean artworks on one another when storing them. Separate them with pieces of cardboard to avoid damage.
  • Dust your artworks with a clean, soft rag occasionally to prevent dust buildup. Don't use cleaning products or water.
  • Hang your artworks away from very busy and possibly messy areas. Over time, artworks can accumulate a thin layer of dust and pollutants, airborne grime from cooking oils, particles from smoking and insect specks. If there is a place to display your piece away from these things, or where it will be somewhat less exposed, try to position it there.
  • Wrap your artwork well if you plan to transport it. Be sure to put a heavy piece of cardboard over the front and back to protect it. Then bubble wrap and place in a suitable heavy cardboard box. Rough handling can damage both the painting and the frame so pack it securely.
  • Try to avoid subjecting your artworks to extreme changes in atmosphere. Avoid excessive dryness, humidity, heat or cold. All of these conditions can affect the state of your artwork in a negative way (canvas puckering, paint cracking, etc.).
  • If your artwork does get damaged, don't fix it yourself. Take it to the place of purchase for a referral or look up a qualified conservator on your own. Amateur repairs can reduce the value of your artwork drastically.
  • Do not frame artworks on canvas under glass, because canvas needs to breathe, if it is framed under glass you may trap moisture inside the frame. Canvases experience small, subtle shifts over time due to mild atmospheric changes, so it is best to leave them without glass to allow them to flow with these slight changes.
  • Do not cover artworks with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, they may start to grow mold. Cotton sheets are best for keeping dust away.
  • Check the condition of your artworks periodically. Many people put up an artwork and forget about it, until they notice that it has been damaged. If an artwork is fading or cracking, a brief peek at it can prompt you to move it to a better place and avoid damaging it further.

How To Take Care of Painting on Paper

  • keep your artwork out of direct sunlight. If exposed to extreme heat or sunlight over long periods of time, paper can become brittle and reach a point where it simply crumbles to the touch.
  • Frame under non-glare glass, treated with a coating to protect the work from UV sunlight if possible. This not only protects your artwork from sunlight, the non-glare glass makes it easier to see the artwork surface when it is displayed.
  • The mat and backing of your frame should be made of acid free paper and finished with acid free tape. This is to avoid any moisture reaching your painting and damaging it.

How To Take Care of Ceramic Artworks

  • Do not display ceramic plates on metal prongs. Over time, this can damage the surface of your ceramic piece, even chipping or cracking it.
  • Do not immerse porous ceramics (like earthenware) for long periods of time. They can be washed gently but not left to soak. They absorb water like sponges, and this can cause many different problems (cracking, water stains deep in the piece, etc.).
  • Keep out of sunlight. Most ceramics will not fade without prolonged exposure, but don't take chances by leaving it in bright light for long periods of time.
  • Try to grasp ceramics by the base. If you grab a small protruding detail on your vase, plate, or other ceramic or glass piece, it may break off. Grasp the whole piece firmly and carefully.
  • If your ceramic piece chips or breaks, take it to a professional for repair. Fixing ceramic piece on your own is not advisable if you wish to retain its value. Try to get all of the pieces together and avoid them scraping together if at all possible. A conservator will be able to tell you if your piece is salvageable, and will let you know what kind of repair costs and results you can expect.

How To Take Care of Bronze Artworks

  • Keep bronze away from extreme heat, cold or humidity. A sudden change in atmosphere might change the color of the surface of the bronze (called the patina) and it is in your best interest to try and preserve the patina if possible. With extreme heat or cold, cracks in the bronze might even appear as the metal expands and contracts.
  • Clean carefully. Bronzes do not usually need cleaning, apart from dusting with a soft cloth. You may vacuum your bronze, and if it is absolutely necessary, you can spot wash a dirty section with mild soap and distilled water.
  • Avoid abrading the surface. Bronzes are strong enough to last through the centuries if you keep them out of harm's way, and the surface patina will age nicely if left alone, adding to the piece's value. Do not alter this surface by using any cleaners that remove the color or scrape into the patina.
  • For any repairs, call a professional. Do not attempt to glue or solder a piece yourself, because a shoddy repair can decrease the value of your piece. Also, if you observe any serious changes in the patina, contact a professional for advice.

Some Important Tips

How To Frame Your Canvas Artwork

Framing is essential for quality presentation of your fine art, and is also an integral part of the preservation process. Canvas art is usually framed without glass. In most cases, your canvas art will already come stretched on a frame, but just in case it doesn't, make sure the canvas stretched properly on the supporting frame. This will minimize movement of the canvas over time, which often happens as a result of changes in temperature and humidity.

Where To Hang Your Canvas Artwork

After you've purchased and brought your new artwork home, the first thing to think about is placement. Never hang or place your canvas artwork directly above a heating unit, stove, or fireplace where it could be subject to high heat. You'll also want to avoid areas of direct sunlight, or pronounced humidity, like near windows or in bathrooms and kitchens. Heat, sunlight, and humidity are factors that might cause shrinking and expansion of the paint layer that will result in cracks in the paint.

How To Clean Your Canvas Artwork

Well-loved canvas paintings often collect dust, but you can't just spray on some Pledge and wipe it away. Water and chemical-based cleaners are deadly to canvas artwork. Instead, use a dry lint-free cloth or feather duster to remove any debris that may have settled on the painting. Every few months or so, take the painting off the wall and turn upside down gently to dislodge any larger pieces. Paintings should be removed from the wall twice a year and the back of the painting should be examined for any signs of cracking or woodworm damage.

When To Seek Professional Help

If you ever notice cracks, waves or bumps, or yellow spots on your canvas artwork, those are signs that serious damage is on the horizon. It's time to bring the painting to a professional to let them re- stretch or restore sections that are affected.

Storage Tips

Environment

A stable storage environment is very important, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity, particularly in the short term, must be minimised. The best environment for the storage of artworks is a cool, dry one with good air circulation. Always seek professional advice for other storage requirements specific to your collection.

Pests

A lot of damage to paintings is caused by pests ranging from beetles and worms to moths and sometimes even rodents. Make sure the space where you store your artworks is free of food sources for such pests. In many cases, the artwork will be the food source itself, and so monitoring the storage is also important. Generally, pests like dark, warm, humid, and undisturbed areas so regular inspection of packed art is a must.

Materials

The materials used to pack artworks for storage can affect their durability. The best materials are inert products that do not deteriorate over time. It is suggested that paintings on canvas be wrapped in unbleached muslin rather than plastic which will also allow the painting to breathe. Make sure to pack your artworks such that both physical damage and exposure to fluctuations of temperature and humidity are minimised.

Tips on Moving of Artwork

  • Always consider the best way to remove the artwork and get additional help if required especially for larger pieces
  • Prepare the final destination of the move before hand
  • Always wear gloves
  • Make sure that there is enough space to move around
  • Use equipment with care, even seemingly harmless pens
  • Ensure that the artwork is properly packed, use quality material
  • Use corners to avoid frames from getting damaged
  • It is not advisable to leave works packed for too long