How To Care For Paintings

Congratulations on your exquisite acquisition! Whether you're an art aficionado or a first-time collector, here are some tips to safeguard and showcase your artwork.


1. Stretching the Un-stretched Canvas

So, you've received your un-stretched canvas, a pristine piece brimming with potential. Enlist the expertise of an artist or a seasoned framer for the delicate task of stretching. Opt for quality stretchers, ensuring they're both appropriately sized and robust. A well-stretched canvas sets the stage for a masterpiece.


2. Varnishing Wisdom

Once your oil painting has dried, consider varnishing to enhance its allure and shield it from dust and grime. Timing is crucial – wait 6 to 12 months for the paint to fully dry. Seek out artists or galleries that offer professional varnishing services, ensuring your masterpiece ages gracefully.


When the painting is stretched and touch dry it may be temporarily varnished using an exhibition varnish, or re-touch varnish. This will add some protection and enhance the looks of the painting.


3. Framing Finesse

To frame or not to frame? That is the question. A frame not only enhances presentation but also safeguards your artwork. Collaborate with a skilled picture framer for the perfect marriage of design, colour, and moulding. A slip, a thin band acting as an intermediary, can elevate the framed assembly to new heights. Choose wisely – this decision is an art form in itself.


4. Hanging Harmony

Hanging a painting isn't just a hammer-and-hook affair. Consider the weight and size of your artwork. Larger pieces may need additional support. Ensure it's securely anchored, protecting it from accidental damage. Positioning matters – let the focal point align with eye level for an aesthetically pleasing effect. And remember, avoid direct sunlight to prevent colour fading.


5. Illuminating Elegance

Lighting transforms an oil painting, revealing layers of paint in all their glory. From overhead spotlights to individual fixtures, choose a source that bathes the entire artwork without casting shadows or glare. Experiment with different bulbs to find the ambiance that suits your taste.


6. Gentle Aftercare

Keep your masterpiece pristine with a light duster. Less touching means less risk. Avoid cleaners or polishes, as they can damage the artwork. Consult your framer for suitable frame cleaners. Years down the line, consider a gentle clean – seek advice from the experts to preserve the artwork's integrity. Never use harsh detergents or abrasives, you could permanently damage the painting.


7. Storage and Shipping Savvy

For prolonged storage, choose an air-sealed protective container in a cool, dry environment. Shipping demands extra precautions; consider wooden crates for optimum protection. Ensure your investment is insured against loss, damage, or theft.


8. Paper Trail Prudence

Hold onto your certificate of purchase or bill of sale like a treasured relic. Safeguard it separately from the artwork, as it serves as proof of ownership. This small document carries the weight of providence, offering security for your investment.


Art ownership is a delightful adventure, and with these tips, you'll navigate the seas of care and presentation like a seasoned captain. Cherish your masterpiece, and let it illuminate your space with timeless beauty.


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