Don't be fooled, artwork is quite fragile, not only to dust, dirt and grime but also the elements of the environment you live in. So here are a few simple, easy to perform, essential tips to be sure your original acrylic paintings on canvas are taken care of, and last the distance.
1. First and foremost, always handle with care... and fresh white cotton gloves. You may think your hands are clean, but they really aren't. The oils in your skin can and will leave marks, even if after first contact you cannot see them.
2. Never lean the surface of your artwork against an object or visa-versa, nor place or stack a smaller artwork against it. It really doesn't take much for the paint to be scuffed, scratched dented or torn, even if the object does not seam sharp enough to do so.
3. Keep your artwork out of direct sunlight. The UV rays can and will not only change and fade colours, but eventually the paint and even the canvas beneath can become brittle.
4. Avoid hanging your artworks where extreme changes in atmosphere occur (like bathrooms) and away from very busy and possibly messy areas (like kitchens). Excessive dryness, humidity, heat or cold, grease, grime and steam can affect the state of your artwork in a negative way. Side note: For the same reasons, never place painted canvases under glass.
5. Dust your artwork often, preferably with a soft clean white cotton cloth or a soft brush. A powder brush for make-up makes an excellent dusting tool. NEVER use water of chemicals. Even water will change the pigmentation of the dry paint and cause discolouration and stain the work.
6. Never store artwork in plastic for long periods of time. Use brown acid free paper or archival wrapping paper purposefully made for the job before wrapping in bubble wrap. And be sure to add extra protection on the corners afterwards.
7. Make sure the hook you use is strong enough to support your artwork... and right for the wall you have! Sticky velcro picture hooks can be a great temporary option for lighter works, but for heavier framed works a bit of extra effort is worth it in the long run.
8. Check for mould often, especially if you live in humid climates. Mould will likely begin on the back of the canvas, so you need to remove it from the wall (with your white cotton gloves!) and be thorough. Don't even begin to try and remove mould yourself. Take it to a professional.
Never spot clean! The simplest way to clean up an oil or acrylic painting on canvas is to use a white cotton cloth soaked in a gentle soapy water over the entire artwork; olive oil–based soap works wonders. Though I am hesitant to even do this myself, and again recommend taking it to a professional. If in doubt, always seek out advice from a professional restorer.
Be bold, be sexy, be fierce, and remember, prevention is always better than a cure.
🥰 Tanya x Marie