Handling, packaging and storing fine art should always be carried out with precision and care. Otherwise, you risk damage that can’t always be repaired and will impact the value of your art. In this blog, we’re going to share our expert tips for art storage at home.
The Risks Of Handling Fine Art
Before we get to our top tips, let’s outline why it’s so important to correctly store fine art. The risks involved in handling, packaging, storing and transporting art include:
- Tears, breakages and missing pieces
- Damage, marks and stains from contact with skin, smoke, cosmetics, liquids, chemicals etc.
- Damage due to exposure to direct sunlight
- Damage due to exposure to adverse temperatures and humidity
- Damage due to the use of materials or conditions that attract pests
Once fine art has been damaged, it is challenging, and sometimes impossible to restore. And if it can be restored, it will likely come with a hefty price tag. Plus, it will reduce the value of the art if you ever come to sell it.
So, when storing your fine art at home, you must take the necessary measures to prevent damage. Here are our top tips:
Keep Art Away From Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight and strong lighting can cause a painting to fade and can break down the strength of the paint. Damage from light cannot be reversed. When storing fine art, ensure the lighting used within the room is LED, incandescent, or UV filtered.
Keep fine art away from windows at all times, both when storing and when displaying your art. Avoid having mirrors nearby as they can reflect light onto a painting.
Be Careful With Plastic Wrapping
Many people use plastic bubble wrapping to protect their fine art and prevent damage. However, if used incorrectly, plastic wrapping can trap moisture within the art, which will create mould and ultimately damage the artwork.
Bubble wrap can be extremely useful when protecting artwork. But before you wrap artwork with bubble wrap, first place a lightweight cloth sheet or layer of brown paper around the artwork itself. Any acid-free paper will also work. A cloth sheet will prevent dust, cobwebs and dirt from building up.
Choose The Art Storage Room Carefully
Aside from the lighting, there are other factors to consider when choosing a room to store artwork. Your fragile and precious pieces shouldn’t be placed in the attic or garage simply because it’s the easiest option.
To prevent them from damaging, you need a room that is kept at a steady temperature and is never open to the elements (windows should be kept closed and direct sunlight should be blocked out).
For oil and acrylic paintings, a temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius is ideal. Whereas 15-18 degrees Celsius is better for artwork on paper, such as watercolours.
The room should also be spacious enough so that artwork is not placed close to objects that can fall and damage it. If you are storing multiple pieces together, ensure two pieces of strong cardboard or wooden panels are placed in between the paintings.
Avoid The Floor
Placing artwork on the floor is never a good idea. Spillages, pets and pests are just a handful of the things that can come into contact with your paintings, causing irreversible damage. Plus, it only takes one wrong step for you to destroy a beautiful piece of art.
Instead, keep art upright and lifted off the floor, preferably on art storage racks. Keeping artwork upright will also prevent the canvas from loosening and sagging over time.
Fill The Gaps
If you are packing artwork into a box, ensure all gaps are filled. Gaps give the painting more room to move during handling and transportation – which could be disastrous as it only takes one knock to cause serious damage. Foam, peanuts and packing paper can be used to fill the empty gaps.
Opt For Professional Art Storage
Aardvark Art Services is a fine art transportation company based in Lancashire. For more than 20 years, we have been transporting fine art and antiques worldwide. Aside from art transportation, we also offer art packaging and art storage.
Located near Lytham, our custom-built antique and art storage crates feature professional security to guarantee safety for your items. Our team of professionals will also soft wrap your artwork and/or antiques to ensure they are not damaged whilst in storage or during transit.
Get In Touch
If you have any questions about our services, get in touch with the Aardvark team today. You can call us on 01253 794673 or email us at [email protected]. Alternatively, find out more about our services here.