Even before Netflix’s original movie, Velvet Buzzsaw turned the world’s head to the niche world of art and art collection, collecting paintings and artwork has been a passion for many people the world over.
Whether modern or abstract, Renaissance or Cuban, all paintings begin and end with the human heart. All of them are fond of the emotive imagery and the feelings that the painting evokes.
And yet, a common area of ignorance for painting and art collectors is the storage of their precious artwork. A mistake many of them end up making is to wrap a painting in a newspaper and declare it ready for painting storage. This is a recipe for disaster and points to people’s lack of knowledge about the proper painting storage.
The biggest enemies of your artwork
The Conservation Register provides the following list about the biggest risks to your artwork:
- Breakages, tears, loose and missing elements, impacts, smudges.
- Fingerprints etched into polished surfaces.
- Stains and marks from skin contact, eating, smoking, cosmetics, and other domestic chemicals.
- Introduction of materials and conditions that encourage pests or other environmental damage: foods, other infested objects, inferior storage materials, central heating, damp, strong light.
As you can see if you store the painting the wrong way, you’ll reap a loss on your investment in no time. To offset this situation, here are a few tips on the best way to store your artwork, so its colors live and shine for long:
1. Clean before packing
Using a microfiber cloth, remove any dust. Then use wood polish or metal polish to avoid any rusting or scuffing. If unsure, contact a professional to have it properly cleaned.
Some oil paintings take up to a year to dry due to thick impasto passages or overall dense texture. Hence, if you are storing a recently purchased oil painting, make sure it’s dry.
2. Do not store in places with varying temperatures
Since basements are a common go-to place for storage in India, most people will think of stacking their paintings against a wall down below.
But, a painting should never be stored in a place that’s either too dry or damp. Choose a room that has a consistent temperature and moderate humidity.
3. Do not stack paintings on top of one another
In the name of space efficiency, do not keep paintings on top of one another. The weight of the frames can damage them. Get a rack to keep them off each other.
You can also use this rack to keep the paintings off the ground. Remember how they aren’t to be kept in damp conditions? If you keep them on the ground, they are likely to absorb dampness from the concrete and other materials.
Hence, get a rack.
4. Keep away from the sun
Sunlight can lead to the fading away of the colors. Hence, keep the painting covered with an acid-free cloth or preserve the packaging it came in and use it.
5. Consider self storage for painting storage
If you consider storing your paintings or artwork for extended periods, consider putting them in self storage. Not only will they be in a dedicated space where they are meant to be safeguarded, but they’ll come with a host of benefits that you can’t create for yourself at home. You can read up on some of the benefits here and book a unit in the same breath.
The artwork you bought is precious. Someone invested time, energy, effort, and their heart into creating it. Preserve it as best as you can so that whenever you take it out of storage and hang it up, it’ll beautify your home like it was painted just yesterday.