If you’re a start-up artist, a major part of your concern would be to find out how to further refine your craft, to produce the best artwork that you can. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, your own personal magnum opus, however, you’re faced with another specific concern: how would you make sure that the high quality of your artwork would be preserved? This is true also if you are the owner of a painting or an art gallery, and you want to make sure your investments would last a long, long time.
Paintings are usually very sensitive to external elements, and merely touching them with your bare hands might produce damage – this is because the salts, acids and oils in your fingers pose harm to the painting’s textures and colors. Another element that paintings are highly sensitive to is light. That’s why it’s very important that you hang or store your paintings away from light, whether it be natural light or artificial light. Keep them in a dry, well-ventilated room that has moderate and generally stable humidity and temperature levels.
You should know also of some of the pointers in storing paintings. For example, you should never, ever store unframed paintings directly on top of each other; you’d need to store them with acid-free paper or acid-free paper combined with glass placed in between each of them. You should also never leave it in contact with cardboard as cardboard contains chemicals that may cause discoloration.
With all this being said, it’s recommended that you use a protective cover for your artwork, to lessen the risks of it being exposed to harmful elements. What are some of your options?
- Conservation glass. This special type of glass is designed to protect artwork from very damaging UV rays from light. This glass offers as much as 98% protection from these rays. Museum glass is the most recommended type of conservation glass for artwork, as not only does it provide sufficient protection from light and other harmful elements, it’s anti-reflective property gives optimal viewing experience. A less expensive (though without the anti-reflective technology) is the clear conservation glass. This type of protective cover is great for charcoals, pastels, prints and posters. However, the conservation glass is not recommended for oil paintings.
- Laminating. You could consider this very cheap option for your prints and photo artwork, as well as for your charcoals and pastels. It’s better to use the heat process lamination over the cold process, and you could purchase laminating covers that offer UV protection. Do make sure that you have a professional do your laminating for you, and inquire whether there is a chance that the laminating process could cause damage to your artwork.
- Gallery pouches. This option is something you could consider if you are transporting your artwork. Gallery pouches are made up of heavy plastic with bubble pouches inside. You could slip in your artwork inside the pouch, and the bubble pouches will protect it from any type of damage that could arise during its transportation. These also work for glass artwork.
- Cases. Again, this is for transporting valuable artwork. Metal cases are strong, and highly durable hard cases that could hold any artwork and protect them from external pollutants. One example of a website which offers such cases is Viking Cases. They have varieties of cases such as watertight cases and foam-lined cases, for added protection.
There you have it! These are just some of your options if you are looking to find protective covers for your artwork. Remember, your artwork is one-of-a-kind, and this warrants one-of-a-kind protection for them as well. Good luck!