Care of a Painting

With proper light and care, you can enjoy your painting for a life time.

These are some important recommendations:

 

Framing

If the sides of your canvas are painted, there is no need for a frame unless you desire to do so. Do not frame artworks on canvas under glass, because canvas needs to breathe, if it is framed under glass it 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.

 

Hanging

  • Keep your artworks out of direct sunlight. Your artwork has 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 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 is heavy, it is best to carry it with the help of another person. Wear cotton gloves to avoid finger prints. 

  • It is advisable to keep the corner protectors on the canvas until it is hanging on the wall.

 

Handling or moving paintings temporarily

  • 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. Do not to lean artworks on one another.

  • Avoid touching the painted surface or the back of the canvas (wear cotton gloves). Do not apply any kind of pressure (even finger pressure) to the canvas. If the canvas does get slightly stretched or dented in an area, sometimes spraying water on the back side (the unpainted side) of the canvas can shrink the stretch/dent. It depends on how severe the indentation is. If unsure about doing this yourself, please contact me or have a professional do it.

  • If you plan to transport the painting, wrap it with paper and 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.

 

Cleaning

  • Dust your artworks with a clean, soft rag occasionally to prevent dust buildup. NEVER use cleaning products or water!

  • A better way to dust your artwork is to use compressed air in a can to blow away surface dust.

  • Another technique involves using a dry soft sable brush to lightly brush the surface in order to dislodge dust while holding a vacuum, off the surface, to capture and remove debris.

  • Be careful not to bump or scratch the painting. If the paint is damaged in any way, avoid dusting altogether.

 

Look at your artwork closely!

Check the condition of your artworks periodically, including the back. 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.

 

Storage

If you have paintings that are not hanging, they should be stored in appropriate conditions. The climatic conditions in which the paintings are stored should not be dramatically different from those where the paintings will eventually be hung. The transition between a cold, damp basement or a hot attic to a climatized room could be disastrous. For better results, store in an air conditioned room/closet.

The guideline for storing is airflow.

  • Stored paintings should be raised off the floor to allow air-flow and to protect them from water damage.

  • Stored paintings should be covered with cotton sheets and not plastic that may cause mold.

  • Carton or ply dividers should be inserted between the paintings to avoid pressure.

  • Choose interior walls rather than exterior walls for stacking your stored paintings. They are drier.

  • If you are storing paintings for a long period, I advise you to examine them periodically, to dust them and change the protecting covers. Sachets of silica gel will help protect your paintings from humidity.

 

What to do if the painting gets damaged?

If your artwork does get damaged, don't fix it yourself. Please contact me or look up a qualified conservator on your own. Amateur repairs can reduce the value of your artwork drastically.

*The cost of repairing a painting is not included in the price of purchase, but if you carefully follow these guidelines your painting should last a life time.

 

What are those little pieces of wood included in my painting?

Those pieces of wood are called canvas wedges. As mentioned above, all artist canvas are naturally sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. They may occasionally lose and regain their original tautness without affecting quality. Should tightening be desired, use those wedges by gently tapping them into the frame corners (inside) or lightly moisten (with tap water) the back of the canvas with a damp sponge or fine mist spray bottle. DO NOT SOAK. Once dry, the canvas should tighten against the frame.