Tips: Care for your paintings
When structural damages such as tears, flaking paint, cracks
with lifting edges, or mold occur in a painting, consult a conservator
to decide on a future course of treatment for your painting.
2. The most important thing that you can do to protect your
painting at home is to not have the air conditioner or heater
running during the day, or alternatively, to have it turned
off at night (or vice versa).
3. Do not display a painting in direct sunlight; it will darken
the varnish, fade and crack the paint layer and ground over
4. Do not store paintings in humid basements or hot attics
unless absolutely necessary.
5. Airborne pollution, particularly soot, have an oily component
that allows them to bind more tightly to a paintings
6. When you dust, use a soft cotton cloth such as diaper
cloth (on the frame only) and a soft bristle brush for the
painting surface and recessed areas of frames.
7. Do not use cleaning sprays or glass cleaners.
8. Never dust a painting that has flaking paint or where
the paint layer is separating from its ground.
9. When moving a painting, always prepare a pathway and a
place to set down the picture before you begin the move.
When you are hanging a picture with an especially heavy frame,
hang it from two hooks on the back of the frame, rather than
from a single wire.
11. If you hang a painting in the bathroom, the extra humidity
from showers and baths will give mold and mildew a good chance
to take over the picture surface.
12 Avoid storing or exhibiting paintings near air vents or
water pipes. Any accident to or leak in your system could
be catastrophic to your paintings.
13. Home remedies such as coating with linseed oil, or rubbing
with bread or an onion, can cause irreversible damage. Even
the correct cleaning materials can cause damage when used
14. A good storage method is to place the paintings in a
closet with a stiff board protecting the image side of each
artwork and a backing board attached to the reverse.
15. Remove paintings from a room before painting, plastering,
or steam cleaning carpets or wallpaper.
16. Wiping smoke, mud, or other contaminants from a painting
may result in additional damage. An information packet on
disaster recovery is available from the American Institute