Fine Art Storage Tips and Tricks

If you own fine works of art, they have more than just monetary value. These precious pieces can be quite sentimental, and they’re often passed down through the generations. If you need to store your fine art pieces, understanding how to do so correctly can save you time, money, and heartbreak. Read further to learn some of the tips that will help you hold onto your fine art safely for a long time to come.

Finding the Right Storage Space

If you plan to store your fine art at home, you can turn a small closet into a storage space, but nothing beats the security of a storage unit. Make sure that the room is completely finished and never store your artwork in attics or basements. Check that there are no vents or windows open, as dust and debris from the outside can settle onto the artwork. Pay close attention to the possibility of mold and look for musty smells that could indicate mold is already present. Try not to store fine art in places with an exterior wall so that no sunlight can penetrate the room. Sun exposure can cause your fine art to fade quickly.

Preparing Fine Art for Storage

Before you begin storing your art, clean each piece with a microfiber cloth to gently remove any dust that may have settled. Use a wood polishing or metal polishing product that will add another layer of protection to the piece. These polishes will help to keep dust or rust from settling as time goes on. A professional cleaning can also be a good way to ensure the art is spotless before you store it away. You can wrap your art but be aware that this could encourage moisture and mold to grow if you’re not careful.

Protecting Paintings

A material called crescent board is highly recommended for fine art paintings. This acid-free mounting board will separate your pieces and protect them from rubbing against each other. This material allows the artwork to breathe, too. When you protect your paintings, make sure you always use acid-free materials. If the material is not acid-free, it can cause your artwork to age faster, and it could also dye the back of the canvas or print.

Maintain Temperature and Humidity Levels

Ideally, the location where you store your fine art should have a humidity level of around 40-50 percent and a temperature of no more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A humidifier can help keep these levels regulated. Too much heat can cause your paintings to crack, warp, yellow, or grow mold. Rapid, sudden changes can do extensive damage to fine art paintings and even some sculptures. Antique art is especially vulnerable to damage and should always be handled with extreme care. A good rule of thumb for all fine art is to never allow for a change in humidity of more than five percent in a 24-hour period.

Elevate Your Fine Art

Anyone who owns art knows that you should never store it directly on the ground. Always keep your fine art elevated off the floor, and you can do this by using a simple shelf or a wood riser. Hang the art on the walls of your closet or storage space. This will free up floor space for other items, and it will prevent dust and grime from setting on the surface. If you must stack your artwork, do it in the same manner you’d stack books on a bookshelf. Never lie artwork flat-side down.

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About the Author: Rob Loveless