Simple ways of taking care of your paintings

Posted on February - 8 - 2017

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Artworks like all good things need to be taken care off in the right manner so they can maintain themselves successfully through time. When taking care of paintings, distinctions can arise depending on each material, the technique of the artists and probably when the painting was done. If you inherited an old painting from your grandmother chances are that it was produced in oil and the artists used varnish to make the colors more vibrant and keep them from withering away. This isn’t always the case with some modern and contemporary works, which can present new considerations when it comes to their conservation.

Two factors are equally as damaging to works of art, no matter how different they are. As simple as they are to us, light and humidity are the most dishonorable agents that affect the wellbeing of your paintings. Nevertheless, they can be counteracted with simple practices that have a significant impact at a low cost.

  1. Remove your painting from direct sunlight

It’s a well-known fact that direct sunlight affects paintings. Ultraviolet rays cause chemical changes such as the discoloration of certain dyes and deteriorating varnishes. Paintings may lose their vibrant colors and become dull. For this, a simple solution is just to place your artwork away from direct sunlight. This simple solution goes a long way in preserving your beautiful works of art. In the case of acrylics, because of their synthetic composition, it’s usually more sensitive to light than oil.

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  1. Humidity is a silent killer

Sometimes humidity goes unnoticed, but its effects start to appear slowly. In high humidity levels, mold and other organisms find an ideal setting for growth and can damage or even ruin artworks. Avoid placing your painting in an area where humidity levels are high, either if it’s on display or being stored. Also, the drastic changes in temperature should be avoided.

  1. Dust and other particles

Dust and other flying particles are another major enemy to your artwork. It has been noted that usually, oil paintings are more prone to retain dust in their surfaces in opposed to acrylic paintings that have a more flexible surface. When dusting your paintings, it should be done with the outmost care and never with a wet cloth or any other substance. It should be just a superficial and gentle cleanup and if a deeper cleansing should be necessary, an experienced professional should do the job.

There are many more considerations for taking care of your valuable artworks, but these are three main external factors that affect them. Remember also to hang your paintings in a safe and stable surface, with high-quality hangers that can support its weight. When moving from place to place, be sure to have your hands cleaned and if possible, wear a pair of gloves.

How do you take care of your artwork?

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

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