Caring for Your Art
I want you to have a long, happy life with your art.
Here’s how to treat it right.
How to Care for Art Prints:
Keep your print away from direct sunlight (which will bleach it), and humidity (which can damage it). Don’t keep your prized paper art in the bathroom.
For best archival results, frame the print with a mat, using archival hinging tape, which you can find online. If you place the print directly against glass in a frame, over time the ink on the print can adhere to the glass, leaving some of it on the glass (and not on the paper) when the two are separated.
How to Care for Acrylic Paintings on Canvas:
Acrylic paintings are pretty durable, and water resistant, although not water proof. Keep them away from direct sunlight and humidity. Paintings on canvas aren’t as much of a humidity wimp as paper, but it can still damage them, and it can warp the wood stretchers and canvas.
Don’t rest anything on or against the painting. Acrylic paint is very, very sticky and will grab onto paper/ink/paint with a vengeance and refuse to let go. Wrapping a painting in plastic before packing it is the best way to go.
Don’t lean or rest the canvas part of the painting on anything. Always make sure all pressure is on the stretcher bars, because the canvas will distort and keep the shape of corners it’s laid against.
To clean acrylic paintings on canvas, use a dry, clean feather duster to remove any dust. Do not use a spray or anything that could deposit something onto the painting. If you must spot clean a part of the canvas, spot clean it gently with a clean cloth (soft jersey like an old t-shirt is best) with a small amount of cold water on it. Let it air dry.
Some of my paintings are mixed media and may have fabric, glitter, beads, or other things embedded into them. The edges of the fabric may unravel a bit with handling. That’s okay, it is part of the painting. Be extra careful when handling them and do not rub the painting.
How to Care for Acrylic Paintings on Wood Panels:
Acrylic paint is pretty durable, and water resistant, although not water proof. Keep it away from direct sunlight and humidity.
Don’t put anything against the painting. Acrylic paint is very, very sticky and will grab onto paper/ink/paint with a vengeance and refuse to let go. Wrapping a wood panel painting in plastic before packing it is the best way to go.
I like to hang my wood panels with two nails in the wall, which lets them be flush against the wall and is secure and easy to hang. A jagged tooth hanger can be added to the back if you have your heart set on it, just make sure you set the painting on saran wrap on a flat surface to protect the front of the painting while you add it.
If you need to clean an acrylic painting on wood panel, use a clean feather duster to dust the painting. Do not use any sprays. If you need to remove dirt from the painting, you can use a wet cloth (preferably soft jersey, like an old t-shirt) to remove dirt from an area. Remember you are applying water to wood, which is not great for the wood. Work gently on a small spot, using only as much water as is necessary. Immediately dry the area once cleaned with the dry part of the cloth.
How to Care for 2D Paper Art:
Keep your paper artwork away from direct sunlight (which will bleach it), and humidity (which will damage it). Never keep it in the bathroom.
With sturdy pieces, for best archival results, frame the art with a mat, using archival hinging tape, which you can get online. Handle the paper very carefully, as you can easily put a little accidental fold into the paper, and that damages the art. Never place the art directly against glass in a frame, as it will damage the artwork.
If the art includes aged, handmade or delicate paper, use a reputable art framing shop that has experience framing other pieces like it.
For framing services, always use a professional art frame shop instead of an arts and crafts store. They are a lot less likely to damage the art while working with it.
How to Care for Fiber Art:
Keep your fiber artwork away from direct sunlight (which will bleach it), and humidity (which will damage it). Never keep it in the bathroom.
If the fiber art is small enough to fit in a shadow box, that is the ideal way to frame it. Smashing it into a flat frame will lose a lot of what makes it special, and may damage the art. Use short dressmaker pins (with the tiny metal head) to gently pin the piece down to the shadowbox inside backing, angling the pins so they go into the backing. Do not stretch the fabric tight, just gently pin it down while properly spread out.
Large fiber art may be affixed to a wall using aluminum push pins or a rod if there is a sleeve. You may want to steam it to remove the wrinkles.
The best way to clean a fiber piece is usually to shake it gently upside down to remove the dust or use a clean feather duster without any products on it.