10 Expert Tips For How to Protect Your Artwork From Damage

Chris DeRubeis and art publisher David Smith hanging metal art by DeRubeis.

Chris DeRubeis and art publisher David Smith hanging metal art by DeRubeis.

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.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORK, IF IT’S FRAMED:

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.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORK, IF IT’S UNFRAMED:

Marko Mavrovich

Marko Mavrovich puts the finishing touches on a painting before the VIP event at The Henry Hotel.

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.

 

You can join Park West Gallery’s community of enthusiastic art collectors by contacting a gallery consultant or cruising alongside Park West on more than 100 cruise ships worldwide.

 

RELATED LINKS:

3 Responses to 10 Expert Tips For How to Protect Your Artwork From Damage

  1. SScroggins says:

    What is the recommendation to store framed art?

    • parkwestgal says:

      Hello! We recommend you store artwork separately from one another, but if you don’t have the space, use some type of padding (bubble wrap, for example) when storing multiple works together. Place a clean cloth over them to protect the art. Lay them flat, if possible, and avoid storing them in attics and basements.

  2. Michelle Endersby says:

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

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Support the Arts with Park West Gallery and the 7th Annual Big Band...

    Park West Gallery is once again joining the Amelia Island Jazz Festival to support future musicians with the Big Band Bash.The Amelia Island Jazz Festival will hold its annual Big ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: Albrecht Dürer

    It’s rare for an artist to master their chosen art form. It’s even rarer for an artist to completely revolutionize how one particular kind of art is made. Albrecht ...
    Read More
  • Park West’s 2018 Spring Sale Features Old Favorites, New Surprises

    Need to melt the winter blues away? Park West Gallery’s 2018 Spring Sale is sure to brighten any home.You can browse the 2018 Spring Sale now—it’s filled to ...
    Read More
  • Peter Max and G.E.M. Team Up for a One-of-a-Kind Charity Art Auction

    Right now, on the Asian seas, there’s a once-in-lifetime art auction taking place, and it’s all for the benefit of underprivileged children.The ocean-spanning auction brings together two powerful forces in ...
    Read More
  • Artist Guy Harvey on How He Captures Life Under the Sea

      How did Guy Harvey become one of the most famous marine wildlife artists ...
    Read More
  • Celebrating Love in Art With 13 Park West Gallery Artists

    Pablo Picasso once said: “Love is the greatest refreshment in life,” and it’s hard to disagree with him.Love is one of the most prevalent themes in art, no matter ...
    Read More
  • Park West Foundation Helps Foster Care Youth Make Their College Dreams a Reality

    More than 200 former and current foster care youth looking to create brighter futures for themselves recently received a helping hand from the Park West Foundation.The foundation held its 5th ...
    Read More
  • 75 Years Ago, Norman Rockwell’s ‘Four Freedoms’ Inspired a Generation

    In February 1943, artist Norman Rockwell completed one of the most complex projects of his entire career. In his desire to help America’s war effort during World War II, ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Wouter and Tineke Coetsee

    Many Park West collectors develop friendships with our art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know one Park West auctioneer ...
    Read More
  • 8 Tips for How to View Art Like an Expert

    Is there a right or a wrong way on how to view art? Because, whether we admit it or not, we’ve all had that moment of uncertainty while viewing art—that ...
    Read More
  • 10 Works of Cruise Ship Art That Will Make You Want to Go...

    How long has it been since your last vacation? Too long? It should be no surprise that Park West is a big fan of cruises—we host cruise ship art ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: Thomas Kinkade

    Thomas Kinkade, Painter of LightFew contemporary artists are as ubiquitous as Thomas Kinkade, whose luminous imagery adorns more than 10 million homes worldwide.Born in Sacramento County, California on January ...
    Read More