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Caring for Paintings

This is a simple guide, and you should consult a professional if in doubt or when there is an appearance of damage.


Handling paintings


  • Use great care each time you handle a painting

  • Have minimum contact and keep dirt and fingerprints off the surface (use cotton gloves)

  • Remove accessories and jewellery to avoid scratches


Hanging paintings


  • Centre of the painting should be at eye level (the rule of thumb is around 160 cm)

  • Large and heavy paintings require proper wall anchors with mounting brackets under the paintings

  • Use wall hooks driven into wall studs (obtain permission from the landlord, if necessary)

  • Alternatively, avoid marking walls by using 3M® hooks with an appropriate loadbearing

  • When using hanging wire, ensure it is looped through the D-ring and there is no loose wire


Displaying paintings


  • Hang the painting on a wall away from the risk of accidental contact

  • Exposure to dirt, heat, hot air and humidity deteriorates paintings by causing paint loss

  • A rapid change in temperature (+/- 5%) can affect adhesion and damage paintings

  • Direct sunlight or extreme exposure to light causes fading and affects colour balance

  • Dust with clean artists' brush in one direction

  • DO NOT use moist cloths, stiff bristle brushes, or feather dusters


Storing paintings


       Choosing a room:

  • Avoid a room with air vents or open windows

  • Avoid attics and basements unless they have climate control

  • Be careful about the presence of dust, mould, and musty smells

  • Avoid a room with an exterior wall because it’ll be susceptible to rapid changes in temperatures

  • Ideal humidity is 40-50%. Ideal temperature is 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees Celsius)


Documenting a collection:


  • Archive your collection before packing it up

  • Use a photo inventory with a description of the artwork and its location


Preparing paintings for storage:


  • Clean paintings with an artist's brush

  • If possible, do not wrap the artwork, as it usually traps humidity

  • If wrapped, use acid-free materials and ensure the paintings can breathe

  • An acid-free mounting board can be used to separate pieces from touching when stacked

  • Use a simple shelf or rise to elevate the artwork off the floor

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