Tips for storing artwork properly

How toJuly 23, 2019

Nowadays, most people cannot imagine their life without storage. And fortunately, professional moving and storage Columbus Ohio companies offer convenient yet affordable solutions. Storage units are especially handy for the valuable items we simply have no space in our home. As an artist, a proud owner of an art collection or art gallery, you certainly want to keep your valuables safe. And the best way to do so is to rent a proper type of storage unit and pack in a way that your belongings remain safe and undamaged. Here are some tips for storing artwork properly. Follow these and you will have nothing to worry about!

Storing artwork properly
Direct heat can soften and damage the paint.

Where to store?

When you plan on storing artwork properly, the first and most important thing to consider is the type, time span and the size of storage that suits you. Depending on these factors, you will determine what kind of storage facility you are going to use.

If you are simply redecorating or switching between a few seasonal pieces of art, you may store these in your home.  Just make sure that the temperature is balanced. On the other hand, as a collector, you need to seek assistance from a professional storage facility. More specifically, you should seek some of the climate controlled storage Columbus offers. If you live in a large city, you could even look for a local storage facility specifically for artwork.

The do’s and don’ts of artwork storage

Pick a climate controlled storage unit 

Extreme temperatures and sudden changes in humidity can cause the canvas to stretch and slacken, or tighten. With time, such changes will lead to paint cracking and flaking off. Also, high humidity creates favorable conditions for mold to grow. Hence, you should ensure that your storage unit’s temperature and humidity are consistent. That is the only way to prevent moisture and damaging your artwork. Around 55% humidity and temperature of 70-degree Fahrenheit are preferable.

Don’t forget the padding

The best way of storing artwork is to store each painting separately. Therefore, avoid placing them against each other or on top of one another. However, always use painting rack or padding to stack the art pieces.

painting of bird
Avoid rolling up the canvas paintings, it can cause damage.

Lay your artwork on a flat surface

Especially for long term storage, you should place your pieces on acid-free boards or paper and then lay on a flat surface.

Make sure you cover the paintings

Use a clean piece of cloth to entirely cover your paintings. This will keep away dirt and dust from collecting on the surface. However, if you intend to store the pieces for a longer time, you should take them out for airing from time to time. The aeration prevents humidity and mold creation accordingly.

Avoid basements and attics

You should never store your paintings and other artwork in basements and attics. The dry or damp conditions can seriously damage your art pieces. In case you have no other options, make sure to take appropriate measures to keep humidity and temperature constant.

Keep it away from heat 

Stooring artwork properly includes keeping it away from heat sources such as heaters and fireplaces. From heat, paint becomes soft and peels off.

Avoid concrete walls or floors

Never lay your artwork on concrete walls or floors as they might absorb the dampness and cause damage.

Framed paintings

When packing framed paintings, first use cardboard corners. They will provide protection to the frame and the structure. Then, use bubble wrap to wrap up the entire piece and secure it in place using string or tape. And to protect it additionally from moisture and dust, place it inside a plastic bag. The final step should be placing it inside a box of appropriate size. Boxes are easily available at stores, but you can inquire at the storage facility itself. Getting all the material from the same place where you store your pieces of art makes the job much easier.

Unframed artwork

While rolling up canvas paintings and storing them this way sounds like an easy and cheap option, we don’t recommend it. Often, if the artwork is left rolled up for too long, it might develop permanent racks and crease in the paint. The best way to pack and protect your unframed artwork is to wrap it up in glassine, water, and air-resistant material. Then, you can securely place it in between two sheets of foam or cardboard, slightly bigger than the artwork.

Artist painting
If you are an artist, you certainly need a safe place for your work.

Sculptures and other odd-shaped objects

When packing up sculptures and artifacts, the best material to use is a bubble wrap. If the artwork has too many edges, use multiple layers to cover it up. And once you have secured the bubble wrap in place with tape, put the structure in an appropriately sized box. Then, stuff any gaps with newspaper, packing paper or any waste paper. This will minimize movement and protect the pieces from breakage.

Tips for storing artwork properly

As we have already mentioned, it is crucial that you choose a storage space with a controlled temperature. Artwork requires special conditions, such as a cool atmosphere. Although it is very rare for storage units to have large windows, make sure that yours does not have any. If you have followed all these steps, you have learned the best practices for storing your artwork properly. And remember, if you take good care of your pieces today, you get to enjoy it for many years to come!

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