10 Expert Tips For How to Protect Your Artwork From Damage

 In Art & Gallery News

So you’ve found the perfect work of art. Now, how do you protect it?

Learning how to protect your artwork from damage is an essential part of building an art collection. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy precautions you can take to make sure that your art will look pristine for generations to come.

These 10 tips come directly from Luis Navarro, the Plant Manager for Park West Florida. Our Miami fulfillment center frames more than 300,000 works of fine art every year, so there’s no one with more experience when it comes to handling art safely.



framing art

Experts constructing frames at Park West Gallery’s Miami Lakes fulfillment center

1. Avoid or limit direct sunlight.

Exposure to intense sunlight can drain the color from almost anything, including your new favorite work of art. Avoid hanging your artwork anywhere where it will receive regular doses of direct sunlight.

2. Know when to frame with acrylic plexiglass, not glass.

What if you specifically wanted to hang that perfect picture in your sunroom? If you don’t want the sun dictating your design choices, just make sure that your picture is framed with a UV filtering acrylic rather than glass. It’s actually lighter than glass and will protect your art from fading or yellowing in direct sunlight.

Those are just a few of the reasons why all Park West Gallery art that requires glass framing is framed with a special UV acrylic plexiglass.

3. Pay attention to humidity.

The amount of water in the air can have a huge impact on the overall health of your art. Make sure to monitor the humidity level in your home and, ideally, keep it around 55%. (You can track your home’s humidity with a simple hygrometer.)

4. Watch your hands.

Always avoid directly touching your paintings or acrylic framing surfaces without wearing cotton gloves. If you do, you risk damaging them by exposure to your fingerprints and natural oils.

5. Keep your glass or acrylics squeaky clean.

When cleaning the glass or acrylic panel protecting your artwork, always use a soft non-abrasive cloth or microfiber towel. You should also consider purchasing an acrylic or ammonia-free glass cleaner.

6. Dust—don’t clean—your paintings.

If you have a unique painting that’s not behind glass or acrylic, don’t use any cleaners or solvents on the surface to clean the painting…EVER. Instead, just lightly dust off the artwork with a soft feather duster or sable brush.



Marko Mavrovich

Marko Mavrovich puts the finishing touches on a painting

7. Don’t leave your art in a tube.

If you’re not ready to hang your art yet, definitely do not leave it rolled up in a protective cardboard tube. You always want to store your art flat. Acrylic paint or embellished paintings stored in tubes can become stained, cracked, or dried up, if they’re left rolled up for too long.

8. Keep your stored artwork separated.

When you’re storing multiple works of art, always keep something in between each work while they’re laying flat. Place a 2- or 4-ply rag or conservation matboard cut 2 inches larger than the artwork in between each work. This will help protect the artwork from acidic damage, curling, and potential creasing.

9. Store art in a cool, dry, dark place.

Pantry rules apply when you’re trying to protect unframed artwork. The best way to avoid damage from sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuations is to keep your art somewhere cool, dry, and dark.

10. Consider a solander box.

If you want to be sure that your art stays protected, you might want to invest in a solander box. These are acid-free print boxes with hinged front panels that can be purchased from conservation suppliers.


If you’re interesting in building up your own art collection—or if you’re just sick of staring at blank walls—attend one of our exciting online auctions!.  You can also contact our gallery consultants at (866) 489-8824 ext. 4 during business hours or at sales@parkwestgallery.com. They are experts at helping you find the perfect work of art.


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Showing 20 comments
  • SScroggins

    What is the recommendation to store framed art?

  • Michelle Endersby

    Great advice to ensure your precious artworks give you life long joy!

  • Sharon Wilson-Smith

    I like that you said that you must only dust off the artwork using a soft feather duster to make sure that it will be protected from possible damages. This is a good tip for me because I’m planning to shop for art pieces. What I want is to make sure that the artworks that I will buy can last for years while maintaining their original appearances. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Ellen H.

    I like that you said that you must only lightly dust off your artwork to make sure that they are not going to be damaged because of solvents or any cleaners. My husband and I are planning to shop for abstract paintings that we can display at home. We want to make sure that they will look good and stunning for years to come so we can save money on replacements.

  • Lisa

    I am painting with acrylics on paper and sending them to Uganda to be hung in a home for boys taken in off the street. There is no way to control humidity. The weather outside dictates the conditions inside. I’m wondering if using some kind of varnish (mod podge?) and sealing it directly to a clear acrylic sheet might be my best bet. It will be transported in a suitcase with very limited space. Thoughts and suggestions would be wonderful!

  • Ellen Hughes

    You got me when you said that exposure to sunlight can drain the color of your artwork, so it’s best to place it where direct sunlight won’t reach them. My husband and I want to have custom murals at home because we want to improve the design of our house. We wish to place the mural in our living room where house visitors can see and appreciate them. I’ll be sure to consider all your tips.

  • Penelope Smith

    It is good to know that you will want to make sure that you dust a painting. I never thought about how a painting can get dusty. I want to get some really nice artwork for my home this winter. I will need to ask the person I get the art from how to best care for it.

  • Lyla Peterson

    It’s good to know that art should be stored flat in a cool, dry environment. My sister has been wanting to hold an exhibition for her artwork, and I want to help her organize the event. I will keep this information in mind to make sure that I don’t damage any of her pieces.

  • Dennis Sanchez

    I’m glad you mentioned that it is important to dust paintings instead of cleaning them. My wife and I want to get a custom-made frame for a painting that we want to get. We’ll be sure to keep these tips in mind so that we know how to take care of the art.

  • Leviticus Bennett

    It’s good to know that I want to store my art flat, not rolled up. I’m thinking of commissioning an art piece to put in my home. I feel like doing so would add a wonderful sense of atmosphere to my home.

  • Henry Killingsworth

    I appreciate the tip on monitoring the humidity level in my home in order to protect the artwork. My wife and I are thinking that it would be fun to get ourselves a painting of our family to hang up in our living room. We’ll be sure to keep the humidity levels low so that the art does not get damaged.

  • Victoria Addington

    Thanks for your helpful tips on how to protect my artwork from damage. Apparently, I’m planning to buy one that’s unframed, I like what you suggested about storing it in a cool and dry place. Since I’m thinking of looking into wildlife paintings, I will follow your advice on that.

  • Zoe Campos

    Thank you for reminding me that the amount of water in the air can affect the state of my paintings and I have to pay close attention to the room’s humidity. I’ll be moving in with my boyfriend next week and since he doesn’t have the space to accommodate my artworks, it might be better to leave them somewhere safe. I’ll try to look around for facilities that offer climate-controlled storage units and ask about their rates.

  • Taylor Hansen

    Thanks for mentioning how the humidity level can affect different paintings. I’m wanting to buy some more paintings to add to our living room as part of our renovations this summer. I’ll have to make sure the humidity levels are just right to accommodate the new art pieces we get.

  • Michaela Hemsley

    I am going to be moving into a smaller living area for a little bit, and I am trying to find the best way to store artwork that I won’t have room for there. Thanks for mentioning that it’s smart to store it in a cool, dry, and dark place because that will help limit it’s exposure to sunlight and temperature changes. I will have to look into climate-controlled storages that can help make sure that the temperature stays the same and that it doesn’t have sunlight on it all the time.

  • Thomas Clarence

    It never would have occurred to me that you would want to frame paintings with UV filter acrylic. My sister is thinking of painting a portrait of our father for his birthday and she wants to make sure that it can be preserved for future generations. It seems like it would be a good idea for her to find a business that can properly frame the painting so that it can last a long time.

  • Pamela Stiles

    When people talk about a painter’s style, they generally mean the particular way an artist works . Your style is your voice, your language, you dialect, your taste, your handwriting

  • Joanie Hutson

    Is there any way to protect art that will be in a covered porch, susceptible to temperature and humidity fluctuations?

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