18 Nov 10 Things To Consider When Storing Artwork
Here at Arnett Vintage Company Ltd we have thousands of pieces of artwork in stock, and we pay extra attention to the storage of our oil and acrylic and watercolour paintings, to ensure we preserve the quality of the paint work and canvas. Because storage is important, we thought we would give you our top 10 tips to consider when storing artwork.
Whether you have thousands of pieces of artwork like Arnett Vintage Co, or have a small collection, its important to plan your storage. This may seem like taking things to the eighth degree, however with a little bit of forward planning, you can ensure the artwork stays in fantastic condition for many years to come. Framed art pieces can be wrapped in bubble wrap and sealed using tape, giving the frame and glass extra protection. loose art pieces can be protected using glassine paper, which is low cost and can be typically purchased from eBay. Artwork can be cleaned using a clean microfibre cloth – these are low cost and can be purchased from various supermarkets.
Do not store paintings in a cellar (basement) or loft (attic):
Don’t store artwork in a dry or damp place, it seems an obvious tip, however this is one of the most common mistakes that is made. Store your artwork in a room that has a consistent room temperature and moderate humidity.
The less human contact the better, as dirt, residue and heat from our hands can transfer onto the artwork and cause damage. Wearing protective gloves when handling artwork ensures that contact is minimal.
Use racking to keep the artwork off the ground:
We have a dedicated climate controlled room for our paintings, so that they are stored on racking, and ensuring the artwork is kept off the floor and off each other. Keeping the artwork separate ensures they don’t absorb dampness from the canvas and frames. Anything heavy, is kept on the bottom, or on a dedicated rack. For homes with small children and pets, keeps your artwork out of reach.
Keep Artwork away from the sun:
If your artwork is kept in a room with windows, it is imperative that you use dark blinds and curtains, to avoid sun light entering the room. Sunlight can drain colours on the paintings and cause large scale fading. Using dust sheets to cover the artwork to further protect it from sunlight and dust is a great idea.
Do spot checks:
At Arnett Vintage Co we do weekly random spot checks on our climate controlled room, using a moisture meter, so that we can get accurate readings of the moisture levels in the room. Doing a visual check of the room is also useful, as this gives us piece of mind that we have carried out the second and third steps correctly.
Store Artwork vertically:
Stacking artwork flat can damage the artwork below or on top, as paper can become very heavy when stacked or piled high. This added weight can cause creases or damage to the art pieces at lower levels. Storing artwork vertically means it is easy to access too, so we always recommend this.
Always use protective padding:
Storing large artwork can be tricky, for major pieces we use foam blocks to keep the artwork separated, however that is not always pratical and it can take up a lot of space. We typically use plastic dividers or grease proof paper to keep artwork divided, grease proof paper is fantastic as it can be cut to size.
Don’t forget to record and archive your artwork:
Our racking is labeled A-Z, with artwork stored in alphabetical order. On each rack we have a printed inventory, which includes the artworks title, the artist’s name, and the date it was produced. A little bit of organisation ensures artwork is easy to locate.
Contact Arnett Vintage Co:
We’re here to help and advise, and we want to ensure you enjoy your artwork for many years. Don’t be afraid to contact us for any further tips and advice! Sarah Arnett is an expert in the field of Art and Design, and she boasts a First-Class 1:1 degree in Fine Art from York University. She has a passion for all 1940’s and 50’s styling, and you can see from our incomparable range of unique vintage artwork, that Sarah’s unique eye for artwork is of a high calibre.