Artwork Preservation

Whether you choose your home’s artwork with painstaking precision or impulsively decide on a quick décor fix, we often fail to think about how our choices will fare over time. Exposure to sunlight, humidity, and heat – not to mention everyday dust – can slowly damage your favorite framed artwork before you even begin to notice.

Don’t let common mistakes ruin your favorite artwork or beautiful frames. A few simple precautions can ensure their quality and safety for years to come:

  1. Framed art near an exterior door exposes it to wide variations of light and humidity, which can lead to fading and brittleness. Avoid exterior placements if possible. Always have your artwork covered with high-quality protectant glass (or glazing) to protect against everyday light exposure. Also avoid hanging artwork in bathrooms or laundry rooms. Steam and humidity can damage your art and frames over time.
  1. Two hooks are better than one nail – and D-rings are a hook’s best friend. Keep in mind the weight of your art as well as the stability of the wall (if you’re earthquake-prone, for example, you’ll likely need and additional attachment) when securing your artwork. Pay attention to weight and attachment requirements – as well as the structure of your walls – when purchasing your hanging hardware.
  1. Even if you’re careful, glass cleaning fluids can seep under frame corners and damage mats, or worse, the art itself. Don’t ever use a household or commercial cleaner on frame glass. Instead, mix rubbing alcohol with water and gently dampen a cloth to wipe glass – don’t spray. Also never, ever use water, furniture polish, or cleaning fluids to clean your frames. The moisture and chemicals could damage a frame’s delicate finish or coating. Instead dust the frame with a soft dry cleaning brush, or use a gentle spritz of pressurized air to remove debris from frame details.
  1. Never EVER store extra art or frames in a basement, attic, or garage. The temperature and humidity fluctuations in these types of rooms can quickly lead to severe damage. Instead, lean artwork in an unused interior closet or guest room, separated by acid-free boards and covered with a dust cloth.

Taking just a few simple, but important, steps to properly care for your artwork can ensure its beauty and safety for years to come.

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