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How To Store Your Oil Painting Collection Like A Pro

Handmade paintings from Artecasso


Are you an art enthusiast, who owns several pieces of art? If you do have multiple handmade oil paintings in your collection, displaying them all at once may not be the best option aesthetically. However, if an oil painting is not on display, the best way to keep them from gathering dust and getting damaged is by storing them properly.

When storing your precious handmade oil paintings, you must never wrap them in normal plastic wrapping and stack them away. Plastic wraps can cause moisture to trap between the layers and lead to mould formation. So in this blog, we will learn how to properly store your paintings and keep them safe.

Storing spaces - Things to remember

Whether you choose to store your paintings at home or a storage facility, there are a few things that you must consider before making the final call. Here is what you should remember-

  • Choosing the right storage room

If you have decided to store your art collection at home, dedicate an appropriate closet or a small office space into an art storage room. When choosing a room, ensure that it is finished and have climate control options. Ideally, this storage room must be completely inside the house with no exterior wall. This will eliminate the risk of windows that bring sunlight and weather changes, which can be damaging to your artworks.

Don’t resort to storing your valuable paintings in attics or basements unless they are completely secure with a working climate control system. Further, ensure that your storage room has no air vents or open windows. If it does have a vent, ensure that the air doesn’t blow directly on the paintings.  

  • Storing at a storage facility

If your home lacks a dedicated storage space or if it’s not equipped with climate control, you can always opt for a storage facility. Most rental storage spaces have temperature and humidity controls that allow you to store your valuables in perfect conditions. This is especially needed for handmade paintings on canvas, which is prone to collect dust and mould if they are stored carelessly. There may be art-specific storage units that are ideal for storing your collection. Check with your local storage space providers to find the best place for your paintings.

Preparing your paintings for storage

  • Once you decide on the paintings that are going into storage, you have to clean them thoroughly. Use a clean microfiber cloth to remove dust from the painted surface. If needed, use wood or metallic polish to safeguard the frame from scuffing or rust. If required, you can even get your paintings professionally cleaned before storing them.

  • Use acid-free materials for wrapping and mounting your pieces. Materials that are not acid-free will cause your paintings to age faster or may dye the backing of the canvas or print, essentially damaging your art piece.

  • Use an acid-free crescent mounting board to separate your pieces from touching, when stacked or while in transit. This allows the paintings to breathe.

  • Consult with a professional about the best way to wrap your artwork. While some people wrap their artwork in plastic wrap, with styrofoam or cardboard separating it from the wrap, it can still cause moisture to trap between the sheets. This type of wrapping is fine only if you rotate your art displays seasonally and store a piece for a maximum of 3 to 4 months, in climate-controlled storage. 

  • While storing, ensure that the temperature of the storage unit is set to 21-24 degree Celsius (79-75 degrees Fahrenheit) at 40-50% humidity. Sudden fluctuations in these conditions can cause the paint to crack, canvas to wrap and cause mould growth on the surface.

  • Never let your artwork sit on the floor. Use a simple stand or shelving to keep the painting off of the ground. This will provide an added protection against potential leaks and flooding in your storage space.

Storing your painting like a pro

A true lover of art will always ensure that their collection is in pristine condition at all times. Even if you are not a professional artist or serious collector, you can keep your handmade paintings and canvas prints safe by following these simple steps. With the right tools and a little guidance from professionals, you can protect your art collection from all sorts of damage. 

1 comment

  • I like to collect artworks and paintings, so I need to have the right temperature and humidity set for my house to store them properly. I appreciate you informing us that the room must be at 21-24 degree Celsius at 40-50% humidity to avoid causing the paint to crack and the canvas to wrap. I’ll take note of this information while I look for humidity control options to consider.

    Elina Brooks

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