Whether or not your fine art assortment is an investment or merely for personal enjoyment you will desire to take some steps to preserve the beauty of your oil paintings. Here are some practical tips on the best way to care for your paintings so they last a lifetime.
It doesn’t matter if they are masterpieces by well-known artists or a beloved work of art by the householder, a friend or relative, oil paintings need care to retain their beauty. Such a painting can be considered an heirloom and the art lover should anticipate it to last a lifetime. Here are a few applicable steps a art collector can do to make sure their oil painting lasts.
• Do not allow direct sunlight to shine on your oil painting for a prolonged period of time because the sun will dry out the paint causing it to crack or even flake off. This necessitates keeping the painting out of sun-lit rooms where windows do not have shades or drapery to block out the sun. Your painting should be displayed in an area of the home with low light. If this isn’t feasible, then your home windows must be covered with draperies or curtains or screens that will filter out the harmful rays of the sun. Other elements that can damage your oil paintings are dust, wide swings in room temperature, heat from a radiator, smoke and humidity.
• It is a good idea for the art collector to swop out an oil painting’s spot once in awhile with other paintings or works of art in your home. There’s practically nothing that says a painting or any work of art need to stay in the same spot on the wall forever. A different painting can give your room’s decor a fresh, new look.
• Oil paintings ought not to be hung on the wall over a fireplace or any spot wherever they come into contact with soot or other dirt.
• An oil painting should also be displayed on a hook that is made to hold its weight, otherwise it could fall from the wall and become damaged.
• Don’t use halogen lights to highlight your oil painting. The heat produced by such lights will damage the painting. Instead use fluorescent lighting to accent your paintings. These type lights also come in warmer colors, however, they are much cooler in temperature than halogen.
• Oil paintings can be painted on other surfaces, but typically they are painted on stretched canvas or canvas panel. If this is the case with your painting, then it is very important to control the humidity in the room where your painting is housed. Surfaces such as canvas or wood can swell when they become moist from the atmosphere, then shrink when they dry out. This can cause the painting itself to warp and may even damage the image on the painting. An oil painting should be housed in a room with constant temperature and humidity levels. In addition, damp rooms with poor insulation, such as those common in old houses can cause mold and mildew to grow on the painting’s surface.
• The frame an oil painting hangs in needs special attention likewise. It ought to be cleaned using a dry, soft, lint free cloth to keep it free of household dust. Never apply chemicals of any kind whatsoever on the frame while it is still around the painting, if some gets on the surface of the painting it could damage it.
• Do not touch the oil painting’s surface with your bare hands. If the painting has to be moved to another room, it should be firmly gripped by both sides of the frame. Don’t ever hold it by the top of the frame and particularly not by the wire hanger on the back of the painting. To be particularly safe, the mover needs to take off all jewelry or sharp objects to make sure the painting isn’t scratched. They should also be very careful not to knock against the painting. The surface of an old oil painting could possibly become cracked if it’s bumped.
• If the painting needs cleaning, this ought to be done by a professional. In addition, if your painting is damaged, you should probably call a professional in art restoration and conservation to restore it.
• Once in awhile be sure to inspect both sides of your paintings for mold and insect damage.