How To Protect Your Artwork From Damage

So you found the perfect piece of art after days of deliberation and are excited to put it up. You even have a clear vision of where it will go and how it will be hung on your walls. But how do you protect your artwork from damage so that it lasts?

Whether you have picked an exclusive painting or an inexpensive art print, there are a few simple steps to ensure its longevity. Educating yourself on how to clean and store art is a timely investment.

1. Careful when handling

Avoid touching your painting/artwork directly as fingerprints and oils might transfer onto your artwork causing it to get damaged. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before you handle works of art. Alternatively, consider wearing a clean pair of cotton gloves while handling artwork to protect them from damage.

2. Don’t leave your artwork in the packaging it arrived in

Never leave a piece of art in a tube as it can get bent or crinkled. If you are not ready to hang your art, store it flat in a cool and dry place.

Do not leave artwork in a postal tube to avoid damage.

Lay your artwork flat as soon as you receive it until you are ready to frame it

3. Moving pieces of art

When transporting a piece of artwork make sure to hold both edges and distribute the weight evenly as the art piece might get warped. Lean canvasses against walls or a table to save them from bending or curving.

4. How to hang it

Consider the weight of the piece and its frame. Most importantly, take into account the strength of the wall, make sure it is sturdy enough to support the work. Prevent your artwork from slipping off the wall and getting damaged.

Woman hanging a painting on a wall.

Make sure your artwork is secure to the wall

5. Not too cold not too hot

Keep your artwork away from direct sunlight or humidity. The best way to protect your artwork is to keep it in a spot that is cool, dry and dimly lit. The amount of humidity in the air can have a big impact on the health of your artwork, so it is best to keep it away from windows.

Art prints stuck to a wall. Unframed artwork should not be left in direct sunlight.

Do not place your artwork in direct sunlight

6. Dust your paintings

Do not use water or chemicals to clean your artwork! Gently dust any dirt off it with a soft duster or brush. Make sure to clean the glass in the frame protecting your artwork with a soft non-abrasive cloth or microfibre towel. You might need help with expensive pieces of art.

7. Frame it to keep it safe

You can either go for a store-bought version or pay the extra bit for a custom frame. The latter might be more expensive, but protecting your artwork is an investment; it will last a lot longer than store-bought versions.

Framed art prints hung on a wall. Frame your artwork to protect it from damage.

Frame your artwork to protect it from damage

8. Learn about the art medium

Study how to protect your artwork if it is in acrylic or oil paint as these mediums can get cracked, stained or dried if left rolled up and unattended. Luckily, printed artwork is more forgiving. Never store artwork someplace dry or damp.

9. Store it well

If you have a growing stock of artwork and like to cycle through your collection, make sure you store it safely. Keep artwork off floors and walls that might be warm or moist and lead to damage. Never store artwork someplace too dry either. Cover it with cotton sheets or silicone paper so it can breathe and avoid mould. Do not cover it with printed paper as the ink might transfer on to it or muddy your art piece.

When stacking art pieces, don’t let them touch each other. It is advisable to place cardboard or ply dividers between paintings to reduce the pressure on each piece. Having pieces of art sit unattended increases their chances of decay; take them out for airing occasionally.

Do not leave a stack of art prints without sheets in-between to protect each piece.

Don’t let your art pieces touch each other

10. Art is to be loved

Every piece of art has a story behind it and an artist who is passionate about each piece. A beautiful painting takes years of practice, passion, and love. Art is meant to be on display!

Art communicates who you are and the values you hold dear. So when you buy a piece that is dear to you treat it with all the love you have. Let it be seen and bring emotion to everyone who sees it.

Share with us the stories of your favourite artworks and how it impacted your life. What makes you choose the art that surrounds you?

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