Monday, October 18, 2010

How to care for acrylic paintings

I've decided to post on how to care for acrylic paintings, because I've had to offer up a couple of paintings for sale lately, and most people don't know how to properly care for a painting. I was going to write it myself, but I found a terrific guide on eHow on how to care for an acrylic painting, and thought "Why try to reinvent the wheel?"
Of course, professional framing and temperature control may be out of your league, but it is a terrific guide nonetheless!

1. Touch the painting as little as possible. The oils and dirt on your hands can make the paint deteriorate. Wash your hands before handling the painting, and wear cotton gloves when you have to touch it.
2. Handle the painting carefully. Take off accessories like rings or bracelets so you don't nick or tear the canvas. Carry the painting by holding it on its opposite sides with both hands. Don't carry it flat on top of your open palms.
3. Have the painting professionally framed with a glass front. This is not a job you should attempt to do yourself. The glass will help protect it from dust, dirt and moisture.
4. Store or display the painting in a place that is below room temperature. The top film on acrylic paint is already soft; keeping the painting at room temperature will further soften it. Install a thermostat in the room where the canvas is kept and monitor it daily.
5. Hang the painting where it will be best preserved. Don't place a painting over a fireplace mantel: The soot and heat can damage it. Even in non-wood fireplaces, you have the problem of a chimney conducting drafts and dampness into the room.
6. Keep the painting away from sources of heat, ultraviolet light, direct sunlight, dust, dampness and humidity. These elements can hasten the natural aging process of the paint and cause damage like prematurely faded colors or cracks.
7. Have a professional hang the painting. This means either placing a loop on either side of the top of the frame and suspending it with wire, or securing a wire to the back of the painting with a screw on either side. Don't hang the picture on a nail, because as the canvas weakens with age, the nail can push its way into it and dent the surface.
8. Periodically check the frame's hardware. Are the screws or wires loose? Is the frame coming unglued? Is the glass shifting within the frame? It's better to check and catch a loose wire than to come home and find a ripped painting because the glass front broke when it fell to the floor.

How to Care for Acrylic Paintings on

When I give an acrylic painting as a gift, I usually keep it simple:
1. Don't put the painting in a hot or humid place - the humidity can cause the paint to warp; the heat can make it soft and pliable, and more prone to damage.
2. Don't put it in a really cold place - the paint can crack.
3. Don't put it in direct sunlight - the paint will fade
4. If you need to clean it, use a dry cloth - again, dampness can degrade the paint.
5. Handle the painting carefully, touch it as little as possible...and wash your hands before you touch it, as skin oils attract dirt and dust, as well as accelerate the aging process of the paint.

Take good care of your acrylic paintings!

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