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How to Store Artwork for a Long Period of Time


The most expensive painting ever sold was Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. It was priced at over 450 million dollars during an auction. This painting was successfully stored for over 500 years.

If you think your art may also be priceless, learning how to store artwork the right way is integral in preserving its value.

This guide will teach you how to store framed pictures, paintings, and other forms of artwork. It will explain the fundamentals of professional quality artwork storage and how to make sure your art stands the test of time.

How to Store Artwork

Some of the most important factors to manage when storing artwork for the long haul are temperature and humidity. If your storage environment is too humid, it will be conducive to mold growth.

If on the other hand, it is too dry, the painting may crack. Keep humidity roughly around the 40 to 55 percent mark and temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is ideal for storing your artwork in the long term.

You also want to avoid any unnecessary fluctuations in either of these two elements. If the temperature or the humidity swings wildly it can cause the canvas to loosen or tighten, thereby destroying your painting in the process.

Sunlight is another major factor that is to be avoided. The ultra-violet light that the sun gives off can degrade paint and other forms of art over time. Avoid direct sun exposure at all costs.

Make sure to lay your painting on a flat surface to avoid it warping over time. Don't store your art on the ground. Don't lean paintings against the wall or each other.

When selecting the area that your art will be stored in, make sure that it is secure and also low on human traffic. The worst thing would be for someone to steal or accidentally break your painting while it is in storage.

Readying Your Art for the Long Haul

First, you should clean your painting and remove all dust with a microfiber cloth. This will help eliminate the growth of mold or other contaminants.

You should always pad your paintings by wrapping them in blankets or bubble wrap. You should then coat this with a hard external case such as wood and tape it all together.

Make sure all of the wrapping components are acid-free or they could risk damaging the painting or dyeing it. An example of an acid-free packaging component is a crescent board.

Certain specific types of art like autographed photos require special techniques to be stored correctly. To see what these are check out this guide.

Store It Right to Maintain Value

Whether you are storing your favorite art project from the 10th grade, or a priceless masterpiece, storing artwork is important. Learning how to store artwork right preserves the integrity of the piece and its value.

After all, priceless artwork is only worth something if it hasn't been tarnished by the tests of time. For all of your other personal growth resources, make sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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