Storage of Oil Paintings and Works of Art

Paintings are considered an object of value that increases over time if properly stored and treated. This is not a new development and is still an important part of the art market today. Oil paintings, in particular, require complex maintenance, storage, and transport. Oil paints take a much longer time to dry and are usually treated with varnish. In addition, oil paintings come in a frame. Both frame and canvas are part of the overall concept of art and require appropriate professional care.

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Oil Painting Tips : Storing Canvas Oil Paintings

If the artwork is removed from the wall, the chosen storage location is decisive for the preservation of the picture. The storage should, therefore, be properly planned so that hanging again does not become a nuisance. An oil painting that is damaged after storage loses its value considerably. Damages are often related to the environment in which images are stored but this can be easily avoided. Paintings and canvases are very sensitive to all changes, including changing temperatures, rising humidity, or sunlight.

Dusting and cleaning oil paintings

The care begins with the care of oil paintings and canvases. Older paintings, in particular, need to be cleaned from time to time, although the sensitivity of the works of art rarely tolerates damp wiping. Instead, a cloth can be slightly moistened if the painting is varnished or glazed. Unpainted pictures or a very nice gold-coated frame may only be dusted with a fine brush so that the coating is not damaged. If the gold shine has already been lost, for example, it can be refreshed with a special gold finger paste.

Color cracks, which are typical of such canvases due to their age, also play a role in oil paintings. If you do not do this carefully, the paint may flake off. Therefore soft feather dusters are recommended, e.g. B. from ostrich feather. Old house recipes such as the use of potato or onion skins are not advisable. Although they can clean a painting, they cannot protect it from damage.

Preparation, restoration, and conservation of paintings

The simple dusting or cleaning of painting is relatively quick, but if a canvas has to be prepared and renewed, the art lover cannot avoid the professional service that galleries and auction houses offer. All paintings are subject to the typical and natural aging process, can fade or darken in color or have stubborn impurities that change the color of the picture and also influence the varnish.

For this purpose, a picture is always exposed to various environmental influences and therefore needs from time to time a professional cleaning, which can revitalize expensive and old paintings in particular or even necessitate restoration that ensures the preservation of the picture. Mostly works of art are cleaned, the varnish is removed or renewed, the picture is generally examined and a condition analysis is carried out. Then the painting can be re-glued, retouched, preserved, or given a back protection treatment. Proper treatment also includes crack welding, gold plating or patination, the restoration of works of art made of stone or wood, refurbishing the frames, or duplicating.

The lighting conditions when storing paintings and works of art

For the hanging as well as for the storage of oil paintings, the given lighting conditions are crucial for the preservation of the artwork. Oil paintings can tolerate light, but not direct sunlight, which unfavorably heats and expands the material and also influences the color and glaze. Sunlight causes an oil painting to decrease in color intensity over time. In the same way, darkness has a corresponding effect and, when stored for a long time, causes oil paintings to darken considerably in the colors. This affects canvases that have not been painted or varnished.

Therefore, oil paintings have to be illuminated, which is easily possible today with normal LED lamps. These contain no UV radiation and nevertheless achieve a sufficiently bright light to be able to see all the details beautifully. The illuminance should be a maximum of 150 LUX. Works of art will also have to be stored under glass especially if they are going to be stored for a longer period.

Every light source has an influence on the painting and materials. In addition to daylight, this also applies to light bulbs, neon, or halogen light. The spectral sensitivity and illuminance, as well as the duration of the illumination, are therefore crucial for protecting the image. Illuminating a work of art permanently with light is therefore just as harmful as direct sunlight, even if the process slows down. In the same way, spotlights or painting lights should be avoided if they have a direct radiance of heat on the canvas. The image can, therefore, be exposed to changing lighting conditions and is therefore preserved for longer.