How to store and display your artwork

To protect your artwork from future damage, it is important to correctly store it to stop the chances of deterioration. Guarding against environmental conditions is vital.

Climate

Artwork should not be exposed to excessive heat or dampness. The storage area should be well-ventilated and away from draughts and heat sources such as fires and radiators. Humidity can cause mould to grow, so making sure that the space allows for air to be properly circulated will prevent humidity build-up. Humidity can lead to many problems, including staining the paper, ink being blurred and the weakening of adhesives.

Heat sources

Artwork should not be kept near heat sources such as fires and radiators. Heat can cause paint to become soft and start to peel, and lead to blistering and burns on the surface of the artwork.

Lighting

Ensure that your painting is not in the path of direct sunlight or overhead lighting. Too much light can fade artwork. Having a non-specialised light beaming onto your artwork can also become a source of heat for your painting. It’s best to contact a lighting specialist who will be able to provide more information on the LED specific lights that will complement your artwork, without causing any damage.

Dark spaces

If the environment is too dark, however, this can also present problems. Storing your artwork in an attic or basement, most likely in damp and dry conditions will cause damage. Some insects, such as silverfish and termites, thrive in damp and dark environments and by ingesting paper.

Walls and floors

It is best not to hang your artwork on external and concrete walls, as they can absorb dampness. Likewise, resting a painting on the floor is damaging. As well as being more liable to be accidentally knocked or stood on, dampness from a concrete floor can also seep in.

Clear space

Any toxic substances, solvents or paint products should not be stored near your artwork. It is important to keep the area around your artwork accessible and uncluttered, to prevent damage from dust and dirt.

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