Keep Your Artwork Looking New

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Keep Your Artwork Looking New

Congratulations, you just bought a piece of art! So now you just stick it on the wall and you’re done, right? NOPE. There’s a few things to consider before your new artwork ever makes it to its new home. Here are some tips to keep your paintings and drawings looking great!


Before you even buy a piece of art, the first thing to consider is, where will you put it? Sure, if it’s something you really love, you’ll make room. But placement is important if you want to preserve your piece!

Don’t  hang artwork in a spot that will receive direct sunlight, this can cause premature fading. With drawings, this can damage the paper, causing yellowing and even disintegration!

newYou will also want to avoid hanging work in cold locations, or in damp or humid locations such as bathrooms; excessive humidity can cause molding to occur. Umm, eww.

The same goes for hot spots. Hanging work near a direct heat source such as a radiator, stove, vent, or a location too close to a fireplace is also a no-no.

When deciding on a place to hang, make sure your work is positioned so it won’t get smacked by doors and chairs or smudged by little fingers. Hanging your artwork at eye level with good “breathing room” will really make your piece stand out.


Just like everything else in your home, artwork needs to be cleaned occasionally. When cleaning a glass-covered picture, never, ever, EVARRR spray cleaning solution directly on the glass. It may not look like it, but tiny moisture droplets can make their way in between the glass and your artwork. Not a good thing. Instead, spray a dust cloth lightly and carefully wipe the glass clean.

Don’t use water to clean your oil or acrylic paintings. Instead, dust with a clean, dry, soft brush. You could even use a soft bristle toothbrush for those really thick-textured surfaces. Another option? Compressed air in a can also works well.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping your artwork away from places that might attract gunk is a good idea. Kitchen work areas come to mind. When handling your piece, try not to touch the surface of a painting, the oils from your hands can be difficult to remove. Instead, handle by the edges, the mounting equipment or use gloves!


If you’re moving or need to make space for a new piece, make sure to store or transport your artwork properly. There’s nothing like pulling a painting out of storage and finding a big ‘ol dent smack in the middle of the canvas. Never place anything on the surface of your artwork or lay the artwork face down on any surface as this can cause scratches.

Canvases are best stored upright. Avoid sharp edges against the canvas surface!

To transport artwork, put in a plastic bag first, then wrap with padding for protection. If you’re moving a piece with glass, you may want to use masking tape to create a grid pattern on the glass. In the event that the glass breaks, this will at least help keep big chunks together and minimize any tearing of the paper.

Store canvases and panels upright. Make sure your canvas painting isn’t leaning against anything sharp (corners of chairs, tables, etc.). Even things that don’t seem that sharp can have an effect if left there long enough. Doing this can cause denting or tearing of canvas fibers. Supposedly, you can correct denting by spraying water on the back of the canvas and applying heat, but I haven’t tried this myself.

Do not leave artwork in a hot car, especially in the trunk, especially in summer, especially in San Antonio. The end.

When storing paper works of art, avoid mailing tubes. These often cause acid or staining damage. Unframed works in paper should be stored flat, between sheets of acid-free paper and cardboard.

Mission Accomplished

So there you have it. You carefully selected a location for your art piece and now you can sit back and enjoy it. It may seem like a lot to remember, but your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful artwork for a lifetime. If you have any questions about placement or caring for your art, gimme a shout!