31 Aug 2015

How to Safely Store Artwork

Storing artwork is one of the trickiest tasks. When it is stored improperly, the artwork can suffer damage which will ruin it or greatly depreciate its value. As an avid art collector or maybe even an artist, it is important that you store away the artwork safely and securely.

There are several things you must do in order to preserve the art without depreciating the value in any way. Make sure that you are cautious while following the advice below. Wear protective gear when necessary and make sure you have a safe, cool, and dry place to store everything.

Tips and Advice for Safe Storage and Preservation

  • Encapsulate the artwork if it is on paper or canvas. Cover the work in a polyester film. This prevents the artwork from being harmed with scratches or scuffs. It also prevents fading. Do this to both sides of the piece.
  • Use polyester film and a mat board to preserve the artwork. The polyester film will go on the side that is painted or that features the art. The mat board will go on the opposite side. Don’t wrap the art too tightly. Air will need to circulate.
  • Use air tight, acid free solander boxes for storage. These boxes are best used for unframed art and can be purchased from various art supply stores.
  • Deep sided storage bins are also acid free and scored so that the box can be folded up and sealed tightly with tape. It protects the artwork from dust, humidity, sunlight, and heat.
  • For charcoals and pastels, use a covered window mat. The work is matted and a sheet of mat board is then placed on top. It is then hinged with pressure sensitive tape, which allows you to easily see the artwork when necessary by pulling up the board.

You can avoid using any of the specialty wraps, mat boards, and containers by storing loose art in drawers. However, this isn’t as safe as storing it with the tools mentioned above. Whatever you decide to use, it should be acid-free to prevent any damage occurring to the art. It must also be stored in a dry, cool and sunlight free space. The sun will fade the art and the moisture will cause it to mold or grow mildew. Make sure you keep pests away from the storage unit too.

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