How to Care for Artwork

Now that you have your print, we want to ensure that you have all the tools you need to keep your art safe and in great condition so that you can enjoy it for many years to come. Handmade works of art on paper are inherently fragile, but can easily and effectively be protected from damage, here are our tips!

TIPS & TRICKS

MOUNTING + FRAMING

Good quality mounting and framing is one of the most effective methods of preserving and caring for works of art on paper. On the other hand, improper framing is responsible for much of the damage to art on paper, so make sure it is done correctly and carefully! Your print should be mounted on pH neutral backing only and avoid using self-adhesive tapes as the adhesive creeps into the paper and can become extremely difficult to removes. 
Consider UV glass for protection against light. Museum glass is costlier, but worth it for the long haul. Acrylic plastic aka plexiglass is also offered with UV light absorbers; it cannot break, is less expensive, causes no condensation and is mostly a non-reflecting glass. An important detail worth mentioning is that prints should not have any direct contact with the glass (glazing material). Over time, the print can adhere to the glass which is not what we want, so a window mat or spacers should always be used to create distance between the surface of the print and the glass. 

TRIMMING

NEVER trim or cut your print, even if it has white margins. Typically, these white margins are included intentionally by the artist and trimming can decrease the value of the piece as a whole.

ENVIRONMENT

The environment plays a major role in the protection of your work of art. There are five main environmental factors that you need to look out for and keep in check.
 
  • Light - keep out of direct sunlight (especially south-facing light) and high-intensity artificial light. If you decide to frame your print, look into using UV protection glass/plexiglass. If not exposed to extreme light, prints will not become excessively faded or yellowed.
  • Temperature - keep prints in a cool environment, preferably within the range of 60°-72° F (16°-22°C). Don't hang prints near areas that get too hot or cold, like fireplaces, radiators, or air-conditioners. Warm or moist conditions accelerate deterioration and encourage mold growth and insect activity.
  • Humidity - maintain a relative humidity between 35 and 55%; if humidity is too high the print can be damaged by mold or insects, but if it’s too low the paper can become brittle. Avoid hanging your fine art print somewhere that is very humid, like a steamy bathroom or next to a humidifier.
  • Pollution - keep away from dust, dirt and other pollutants for the best protection. A little surface dust can be very gently brushed off with a dry cloth, but anything too extreme should be removed by someone who knows what they're doing.
  • Pests - pests are more inclined to live with your prints in a humid environment as opposed to a drier one. By keeping the temperature and humidity in check, you can avoid pest problems.

HANDLING

When handling your print, try and touch the paper as little as possible and avoid touching the image area entirely. Should you need to handle your print, use both hands and hold it by opposite corners, very gently, to avoid creasing. Just like the paper used is receptive to the colors and materials used to create your print, it can also be receptive to oil and moisture in the skin which can leave marks behind. Always try to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your print.

PROPER STORAGE

If your print is not on display or must be moved, the best way to keep it safe and looking great is to store it flat inside of a rigid folder where it can be protected from light, dirt and humidity while being stored.

TRANSPORTATION

Your print can be transported flat or rolled depending on its size, but either way the print package used should be very stiff and your print should be fixed in a way to prevent sliding and rubbing against the packing materials – we suggest a soft wrapping paper or very smooth, non-abrasive tissue.