You’ve fallen in love with a piece of art and know that it will look perfect in your home. Maybe you know the artist, which makes it even more special. Either way, you want to protect that art not only to keep it safe, but to avoid expensive cleaning and restoration fees. From the very beginning, protect your artwork.
Make sure you speak to the artist or art store when you purchase your art to find out any tips they have about that specific piece of art. They can tell you how to maintain and gently clean your artwork.
Consider where you decide to display your art, as you can limit some types of damages. For example, art that receives a lot of natural light will fade, art near a fire will be damaged by smoke, and art in the kitchen will collect oil. Try to limit damage to avoid cleaning and restoration costs in the future.
Have a well thought out plan for transporting the art. Make sure you read up on how to move the type of art you purchased or ask the artist/seller. Then, clear a path large enough to avoid bumps and bruises. Try to protect it from cracks by avoiding drastic temperature changes or other environmental disturbances, like rain or even extreme dryness. If at all possible, move the art in the spring or fall, as the temperatures will be more consistent in your car and outside.
Never let an amateur clean or restore your art. Research carefully who you allow to work on your art, as many mistakes can happen. If you live near Winter Park, in Central Florida, contact us at the Florida Frame House. We will answer your questions and offer honest suggestions.
Do you have an artistic piece that has financial or sentimental value? If you do, you should consider preventative conservation. Once art has been damaged, it must be professionally restored. Even professional restoration can have irreversible mistakes, so it is well worth your time to consider preventative conservation. Art should be routinely inspected and they should have proper maintenance. If you do not know about proper maintenance, you should consult an experienced conservator.
Two of the biggest culprits for damaging art are ultraviolet rays and relative humidity. Of course, you need to control the climate in all storage areas and display cases. Relative humidity should be controlled to control the water within objects, as changes can cause stress to the art, corrosion of metals, glass and ceramics, and the growth of bacteria. Some steps to help control relative humidity is to keep consistent temperatures, keep art away from ventilation systems, avoid direct sunlight hitting art, and store art in climate-controlled cases. For canvas paintings, purchase acid-free backing boards to add a buffer.
The most common source of ultraviolet radiation is natural sunlight, so pay attention to sunlight coming in through windows. Also, consider the types of lights that are focused on your art. UV radiation can cause oxidative deterioration of organic materials, fading of colors, and damage to metals and stone. To help solve the problem of UV rays, purchase Plexiglas (1/8” inch) that absorbs UV rays and place on the inside of windows that allow sunlight to hit artwork. The Plexiglas is more effective than film. Inexpensive plastic sleeves can be purchased for fluorescent tubes and filters. They are very helpful in protecting artwork from UV rays, but must be checked and replaced occasionally.
In you are in Winter Park, Florida or the Central Florida area, contact Florida Frame House for professional advice about your artwork.
Just like your house needs to be cleaned, art needs to be cleaned as well. Normal contaminants in the house can easily collect on art, just as they collect on your shelves. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as spraying a cleaner and wiping off the dust. Many household cleaners can cause significant damage to art, so this is not a process to try at home. In order to remove grease from cooking, soot from fire damage, tobacco smoke, or other normal contaminants, you should consider having your art professionally cleaned.
Cleaning the surface of art involves cleaning each type of contaminant with a different solution to bring the vibrance back to your art. Varnish streaks can also be removed by are caused by aging. Art can also be protected by adding a lining to the art, if there has been any damage to make the support unstable (tears, punctures, damaged paint, etc). Antique frames might also need to be restored. If you are in or near Winter Park, Florida, bring your art into Florida Frame House for a professional opinion. Our professional staff is passionate about preserving art in its best form.
5 Tips on Matting your Artwork
1. Glass touching your artwork can cause significant damage to your artwork, including buckling, discoloration, and the growth of bacteria. The mat provides a layer of air to protect the artwork. They also are designed to expand and contract with changes in humidity.
2. It shapes the artwork to draw the eye’s attention to the center and dramatizes the difference between the frame and the artwork.
3. Using the proper color of mat brings out the colors in the artwork and can cause your eye to pay attention to a specific color or shape. Deciding whether to use a light or dark mat is a very important decision. Dark colors will lighten the artwork and make it look larger. Lighter mats will darken the artwork and make it look smaller.
4. When choosing the colors for the mat, focus on the colors in the artwork more than the colors of the room you will put it in. Room decorations change, while the artwork will not. Make sure you choose a mat color that is not lighter or darker than the colors used in your artwork. Also, make sure you use a color that is used in the artwork.
5. Conservation quality mats are worth the extra money, as they are designed to protect your artwork. Using standard mats contain acids that will damage your artwork over time.
The Florida Frame House in Winter Park, Florida would love to give you professional advice on framing your artwork. Our staff is experienced and passionate about protecting your priceless art and making them look their very best. Come visit us at 915 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Winter Park, Florida.