Your doorbell has just gone and your new artwork is now hovering in your entrance-way. What now? We’ve put together this handy guide to help you display and care for your art and make sure it remains in great condition.
Have you been thinking about where this piece was going to go from the moment you clicked ‘buy’? Did you buy this piece with a space in mind? Or are you only now thinking about where it should make its new home? It’s worth thinking about the following when placing your picture.
Direct bright sunlight is sadly the natural enemy of art, most notably works on paper such as watercolours and prints, where the pigments can fade and bleach over time. If you can, try to hang your works in shady spots in the room, away from the direct sunlight.
If you have the perfect spot or really want it in the sunlight - do consider UV protected glass.
As with sunlight, other natural enemies of artwork are damp, humidity and big temperature changes (I’m talking radiators, bathrooms, conservatories and kitchens).
Both heat and damp can warp and discolour paper and canvas, and I’m sure you’ll agree there are few sadder sights than a mouldy artwork.
We all love the idea of sprucing up the bathroom or downstairs loo with artworks, but bear in mind which pictures you place in these rooms - think; how much do I love this? Would I be really upset if it slowly degraded over the next few years? If you do hang artwork in your bathroom, make sure it’s well ventilated (leave the fan on a little longer than usual or regularly open the windows) and you can always visit your local framer to discuss how to best seal the frames to prevent moisture reaching your artwork - this is not a silver bullet, but may prevent some damage.
What other art pieces do you have? Do you fancy a gallery wall or prefer to place artworks depending on their size and relation to the purpose of the room? Check out our guide on how to display your art at home for tips and tricks.
Dust your artwork as often as you would your mirrors, aim for once a week if you can and build it into your cleaning routine. Use a dry, soft white cloth if possible.
Don’t. Please never use chemicals or even natural cleaning products or water to clean your artworks. If it really needs a clean, call your framer who can recommend a good conservator.
Every now and again it’s a good idea to check for any signs of damp - discolouration of the inks and paper, and little brown dots on the paper (this is called foxing) are early signs of a damp problem. They will often first appear on the back of the works. If you think you have a problem - you’ve guessed it - call your local framer who can advise on if you need to re-frame to prevent further damage.