The environment can cause a lot of damage to a piece of artwork or a valued item. When you are planning a location for something– whether it’s on your wall or in storage– consider the following variables to help keep your valuables safe and in their best condition.
When the temperature changes drastically on a piece or a frame, the piece will grow and shrink. While growing in the heat, the wood can warp as it does not grow evenly. As it shrinks when the temperature drops, the piece can crack and splinter. Avoid placing your artwork in garages, attics, or basements as these areas can have drastically changing temperatures.
A temperature controlled climate is best suited for artwork as the piece will not change shape as drastically. Our homes are already temperature controlled with the use of our heaters and air conditioners, so simply hanging your artwork on the wall rather than keeping it in storage or waiting to hang it is the best option. Besides, then you also get to enjoy the art!
In liquid form, water can cause warping and staining. As ice, it can create cracks and if it falls off or is removed, might tear off parts of the piece. When water is in the air as humidity, it can create the perfect environment for pests and mold. Bugs can use certain materials for food and shelter. Mold will grow on frames and pieces, which damages the item and can also be detrimental to your health.
Using a dehumidifier will help take care of the water in the air. Otherwise keep artwork away from water sources like sinks or faucets. Although not always possible, try to keep them away from windows that may leak or areas that may flood as well.
Sunlight streaming through your window on a nice morning may seem harmless enough, but it can cause fading to items. If you wish to hang the item in a sunny location where it will be in direct sunlight, the best option is to get UV-blocking glass to protect it if possible. Canvas is not usually put under glass and paints will fade if left in the sunlight too long, so occasionally changing up the room or taking the canvas down for different times of the year will help prolong the vibrancy of the colors.
If it is an item that you wish to put in storage, place it in a box or dark place. This way, the colors will stay the same and your item will be safe.
Time will always wear on items, but taking the right precautions even in simply getting a good frame with the proper glass can add value and longevity to any piece. From there, use these tips to make sure where you keep your treasures also help preserve them as much as possible.