It is often said that art is food for the soul. Having your art-damaged, however, is cause for a lot of heartbreak – and headaches.
Whether you intend to purchase fine art to complement your home aesthetic or as an investment vehicle, it’s important to first know how to store fine art. Art exists across many mediums, and some can lose their quality due to something as subtle as skin contact.
Not sure how to store fine art? Read on to find out.
Before packing your art for storage
The art of fine art storage can be tricky. Before you begin to start putting your paintings away, make sure you are well-prepared to safely handle your fine art paintings.
Start with finding out what medium your art is painted on and with. Different types of canvas and painting media have different properties, and some may require more attention and care over others. For a quick rundown of painting mediums, take a look at this guide by luxury art retailer Artisera.
Also, put on non-colored gloves before you start to prepare your art for storage. Oils secreted by our skin can cause discoloring in paintings, and colored gloves may leave potential smears if they’re poorly manufactured.
General rules for fine art storage
Most people will choose to have their fine art pieces stored in a separate room at home or away in a storage facility. Regardless of where you choose to store your fine art, you should observe these storage practices:
- Do not leave your paintings in any position that may cause it potential damage. Leaning art pieces against a storage wall might prevent dust from accumulating on it, but there’s a chance it might slip and cause damage to the frame or canvas.
- Always cover your paintings to prevent marks and stains. Some art mediums can easily lose their shine to cigarette some, cosmetic smears, or skin contact.
- Make sure to never place your fine art paintings under direct sunlight. Constant UV exposure can cause cracks and ripples on the canvas.
- Store your paintings only in rooms with climate control settings. Inconsistent humidity and temperature can severely damage fine artworks. Optimal humidity and temperature for fine art paintings is 45 to 55% and 18 to 23 degrees Celsius respectively.
Fine art paintings can come either framed or unframed.
If yours is framed, wrap them with a storage blanket, bubble wrap, felt, and secure it with strong packing tape. Do not use plastic as restricts airflow around your painting and may damage it.
If yours is unframed, try to use specialized wrappings made from either silicone release paper and glassine paper. You should cover the front of the painting canvas with silicone release paper and wrap the entire painting with glassine paper. Be careful not to confuse silicone release paper with silicone release liners.
Storing Art at home
Having a ready collection of fine art at home to vary the mood accordingly can be ideal if you’re regularly planning events and gatherings at home.
It can also be riskier to store art at home. Accidental bumps, spilled beverages, inquisitive children, and the like place your fine art in greater danger.
If you decide to store your fine art at home, avoid doing so in your attic or basement. These places tend to be damp and significantly more humid, and temperatures in these parts of the house are more likely to fluctuate too. Of course, these spaces can work if you have climate control appliances or devices installed.
Storing art when moving house
If you’re planning to move house, make sure to seal your fine art paintings with hard Styrofoam boxes and pack the inside with dense packing material. This protects the painting from any road bumps that might leave dents or tears on the painting canvas and frame.
Be sure to also purchase shipping insurance before you hand over your fine art paintings to the house mover. Nearly 60% of art damage claims arise from transport mishaps, so there is a real chance your paintings may be damaged in transit.
Store in a storage facility
Most storage facilities should already be well-equipped to accommodate delicate fine artworks. Some, like Fine Art Logistics and Fine Art Storage Services at Le Freeport, have specialized storage rooms that not only monitor temperature and humidity to pinpoint accuracy but also protect your art against theft or tampering with alarm and surveillance systems.
But because you’re leaving your painting in the care of someone else, you should make sure to have proper documentation before leaving your fine art in any storage facility.
This means taking photos of your fine art prior to storing them, noting down any existing damages, and a brief but detailed description of each painting. Documentation can protect you in the event that your fine art is damaged under the storage facility’s care.
Let us take care of your fine art at home
Your artworks are important investments and highlights meant to be appreciated by friends and family.
But fine art storage can take a lot of energy and time. Storage materials cannot be found in your average bookshop, and the many nuances of different art mediums can be confusing.
With our expertise, storing fine art can be effortless.
As part of our new suite of asset management services, our professional experts are trained to not only provide ideal storage options for your fine art but also help you to accurately appraise them so that you can receive the best investment returns.
Good service also comes from building trust and respecting our clients. Our fine art management service ensures client confidentiality at all times. Our clients receive all appraisal reports as private financial or legal documents, and these will not be shared with third parties without explicit consent.
Storing fine art doesn’t have to be a hassle with BUTLER. Get in touch with us today and see how our fine art management services can work for you!