by Duane Rajkumar

Whether you paint or purchase art, your paintings are a valuable investment. Naturally, you want to be able to display these beautiful works, but sometimes it is necessary to store them while you move, switch out the paintings on your walls, or take a long vacation. Here are some tips fromMana Fine Arts, NYC fine art storage experts on how to ensure that your artwork is safe from the elements while it is in storage.

Documentation
One of the most important things you can do before storing your artwork is to properly document it. Documenting your work is valuable as it helps you take note of the condition of your artwork prior to storing it, which can be very important in the event of a loss (environmental or human causes). Additionally it helps if there is ever a need for restoration efforts on your piece! There are a few things you can do when documenting:

● Take multiple photographs of your art. Front, back, sides, frame, everywhere! Have photos that capture the entire artwork, as well as detailed close-ups. This allows you to have a thorough inspection when removing your art from storage.
● Create a catalog card with relevant artwork information: artist, title, subject, date, medium, dimensions, signature placement, condition of the piece, price, buyer information and more. Anything and everything that is relevant.
● Make backups of all the documentation you take!

New Paintings
If you are a painter, you already know that your work will need time to cure after you complete it. Depending on your preferred paint, it can take anywhere from a few days (latex-based paints) to a full year (oil paints typically take between 6 to 12 months) for your art to cure. Until the required time is up, you should not do anything to the painting. Once the painting is fully cured, they will be protected from stains and scratches. It will also be less likely to be affected by the humidity of the storage area.

Conditions
There are a number of conditions that should be met to store your painting.

Environment
This is likely the most important condition to consider. Paintings need to be kept in a cool, dry place. If you take your art to a storage facility and notice that the place has cracks in the wall, it is not the right place to store your pictures.

● The temperature should be kept between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 to 24 degrees Celsius, at all times.
● Humidity should stay between 40 and 50%.

This will ensure the environment does not damage the artwork.

Position
There are two positions you can use to store paintings, depending on if you leave the art in the frames or remove them.

1. Place framed artwork in an upright position, just like if it were hung on the wall. This eliminates the chance that something could fall on it, someone accidently stepping on it, and it will reduce the amount of dust that collects on it.
2. If you remove the art from the frame, you should roll it if possible. The paint should be facing out to minimize the opportunity for scratches and warping.

If you have paintings that are on canvases with wooden backing, have the art work keyed out (stretched until it is taut) if it will be in storage for a long time. This protects your art during more humid months.

Covering the Art
Some places will not have adequate space for you to wrap up your paintings. If possible, you should find a location that offers large enough storage space for covered artwork.

Do not use bubble wrap or plastic to cover your paintings. They can not only scratch the paint, they trap condensation and prevent you paintings from being able to “breathe,” which can lead to water damage.

Cloth is the best cover for stored artwork. It lets allows air to circulate around the painting while keeping out the majority of dust and prevents bugs from walking on your paintings. Cloth does not scratch or irritate the paint either. The following are recommended as wrapping for your stored art:

● Towels
● Sheets
● Certain types of foam
● Felt

When you need to store your artwork, you need to plan ahead. Once you find the right place and method for storing your artwork, you can be confident it will be fine until you want to display it again.

This article was submitted by Mana Fine Arts, a provider of fine art services for a discerning clientele. With an unparalleled facility and exceptional staff, Mana is a leading provider of fine art services which include framing, crating, storage, transportation and fine art management.

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