How to Store Painting without Damaging Them

How to Store Painting without Damaging Them

Storing paintings the right way will not only keep an artwork’s value, but it will also keep your painting preserved for the years to come. Someone who doesn’t know how to store paintings will wrap them with newspaper or plastic and will just notice that there are molds and damages eventually.

One doesn’t need to be an art collector to know the best way to store paintings. These ways are easy and should be done whether you keep this artwork for a long time or redecorate your home.

Improper storing of oil paintings may lead to cracks and fading of inks–the last thing we want to happen in our paintings.

The Importance of Storing Paintings Safely

person aligning painting
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Unlike appliances or other assets, paintings cannot be bought easily when damaged. No insurance coverage can restore its condition or have them replaced once damaged. In addition, you cannot just ask the artist to recreate the same artwork.

Transporting artworks is also challenging. These paintings are considered investments and should be taken care of, just like cars and other properties. Wrapping it with plastic can accumulate molds because of humidity. 

A sudden change in temperature may also cause cracks in the paint. If you don’t know how to store canvas paintings properly, it may lead to yellow stains affecting the painting’s value.

How To Store Oil Paintings

Storing oil paintings needs a cool and dry space. According to Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, the oil painting storage temperature should be between 65℉ to 70℉. An attic or basement is not recommended for oil paintings since these areas are too hot or humid. It creates adhesion, paint loss, and growth of molds.

Keep your hands clean before touching the artwork when you prepare oil paintings for storage. Fingerprints and dirt can stick to the painting and cause serious damage. It is advised that you wear cotton gloves in handling the oil painting. 

The best material how to wrap oil paintings for storage is breathable materials. You may use paper towels or soft fabrics for covering. Plastic is not recommended for use, and the cover should not touch the surface of the painting.

How to Store Oil Painting on Canvas

Canvas is light-sensitive. Aside from storing oil paintings in a room with regulated temperature, these should also be stored in a dark room. Lying it flat is the most recommended way how to store oil paint. 

If you are planning to keep them at home for a short period, they can be wrapped with breathable materials. However, if you are planning to keep them in self-storage for a while, you need to store them in a mirror box accompanied by a corrugated carton. Temperature changes can cause warping and mutilation on canvas fibers. 

How to Store Acrylic Paintings

Acrylic paintings should be stored properly to avoid sticking together. Keeping them face-to-face can peel off the paint if they are stuck together. Each artwork should be stored in different boxes, which are made of metal. 

In addition to that storing them with lots of light, including sunlight, could be better. It can damage the solid finish of the acrylic paint or turn the artwork yellowish.

If you don’t have metal boxes available, you can wrap the painting with greaseproof paper or glassine. Add styrofoam that is custom-made to suit the measurements of the artwork. If the styrofoam is loose, the artwork may slide off from the packaging. For its final layer of protection, the acrylic painting should also be placed in a box after the styrofoam. 

Anyone who owns a custom acrylic painting wants to have it preserved.

How to Store Unframed Painting

Unlike paintings on canvas, unframed paintings are easier to store. Before doing this, the canvas should be covered with silicone paper in the front. After rolling the canvass, the back part of the unframed painting can be secured with paper and placed in a tube hardboard.

When it comes to storing paintings, it is important to remember that every type of paint requires different care. Watercolor portraits, for example, should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and high humidity levels. It is also important to avoid touching the surface of the painting as much as possible in order to prevent smudging or smearing. In general, unmounted paintings should be stored lying down on acid-free paper or cardboard inside a portfolio or box made specifically for paintings. 

If you must hang your painting, use museum putty or picture hanging strips to secure it properly on the wall and avoid using nails or screws that could damage the surface.

watercolor portrait

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bubble wrap on my painting?

Yes, but only as the outer wrap. Ensure that the smooth surface of the bubble wrap is facing the painting. Also, make sure that you have used the appropriate primary cover of the painting before you use the bubble wrap.

How do you store a lot of canvas paintings?

Before you store multiple canvas paintings, you should put a greaseproof paper to cover it and ensure that the paintings are not placed face-to-face. Otherwise, the acrylic may stick together and damage the entire painting.

Final Thoughts

All paintings should be treated not only as an investment but also as something that has sentimental value. Get your custom oil portrait painting or acrylic painting at Memorialize Arts now to make them more memorable.