Arts & Culture

How to Preserve Your Oil Painting

While owning an oil painting is a matter of pride, it is equally important to take proper care of your valuable artifact to keep it in the best possible condition. After all, your oil paintings are only as valuable as the condition you preserve them in.

Nevertheless, what comes next to investing your hard earned money on the precious oil painting is the right knowledge of how to take long-term and durable care of it. While most of the following steps are super-easy to execute, it’s again important to note that ‘right know-how and execution’ is the key to Preserve Oil Painting:

 

Dust your Painting Religiously at least twice a year:

Did you know that the surface and edges of an oil painting are sensitive, and collect dirt, grime, and stains as the time passes? While experts strictly recommend avoiding the use of water, alcohol, or other household cleaners to clean your precious artifact, you may require a Japanese brush or natural-hair artist’s brush to dust off the dirt first.

In order to do so, you should deliberately tilt your oil painting on a clean, well-cushioned surface that allows the dust to roll down. And once you’ve carefully secured it, you can use the brush in a back and forth motion until the entire painting is cleaned.

Pro tips:

  • Avoid dusting your painting if you see the oils chipping or cracking
  • Avoid using the rough cloths or traditional feather dusters to prevent scratches.
  • Avoid the use of water, alcohol, or any other local cleaners that may mix up with the paint or the varnish.

 

Wrap your Painting in a tissue paper:

 

The biggest enemy of the life and durability of an oil painting is nothing else but ‘Moisture’ that can severely destroy the painting and its frame! And to make sure you help your painting fight the moisture, it’s important that you store it with extra care. You can use breathable sheets, tissue papers, or simply foam to proffer that added protection when you store your oil paintings. Also, avoid wrapping your paintings within material like bubble wrap because it attracts moisture quickly.

 

Store a Painting in the dry Room

 

Always avoid storing your painting in a room that is prone to temperature fluctuations. Keep in mind that moisture-conducive locations like kitchens and bathrooms experience swift environmental changes, which make them a bad location to display your painting.

What’s more; did you know that temperature combined with humidity can adversely affect the painting by causing unnecessary expansion and contraction of both the canvas as well as the wood stretchers! So, it is a noble idea to hang your clean oil painting at places like main office or rooms where temperature and humidity remain reasonably constant.

  • Hang your painting in places that do not just have good air circulation but also have less temperature variance.
  • Store your painting in an area which is free from animals, bugs or dust.

Fact:  Direct sunlight is very detrimental to the oil paintings as the solar radiations can lead to fading and cracking up of the paint layer. So, try not to store your paintings in places that have direct sun exposure.

On the contrary, you can use low-frequency bulb or flood lights to avoid any possible damage to the paintings as indirect sources of light are still better than the direct sunlight.

 

Handle your painting with extreme care:

 

More than the settled dust and pollutants from outside, it is our careless conduct that causes serious damage to the painting. While it is advisable to grip the painting from both the sides when moving it from one place to the other, one must be wary of the fact that the frame should be handled without touching the surface of the art with hands.

 

P.S. Like a sound mind lives in a sound body, a ‘sound and clean oil painting’ also lives in sound environment. So, make sure you wash and dry your hands next time before you clean your paintings in an endeavor to avoid any moisture from damaging the painting.

 

Look up to a Professional to help clean and Preserve Oil paintings:

Are your valuable oil paintings flaking, cracking, peeling or simply damaging? Let a Licensed Oil Painting Conservators take the matters in their hands—they have years of experience and experts in preserving and restoring the oil painting without affecting its value. Even better, they can also impart their insights into preservation and sharing tips on how to correctly display the paintings at home.

 

Re-varnish your painting.

Not only does the varnish protect the oil paints in your artwork by shutting off the dirt and dust, but also works wonders to even out the appearance of oil paintings. While it is advisable to use a flat varnishing brush, always start from the top, gradually working your way down in a crisscross pattern. And once you’re done, you must cover the entire painting, and let it dry in a dust-free room.

Pro Tip: As it is important to re-varnish a painting over the time, make sure you consult the professional experts who can guide you correctly.


About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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