Be aware of where you hang your artwork. Paintings of all mediums should never be hung in direct sunlight. UV rays can fade watercolours, cause cracking in works of canvas and board, and severe deterioration of works on silk and fabric will occur.
Avoid, if possible, hanging fragile works on outside walls where some damp or warming of walls may occur. An environment that is subject to extremes of damp (bathrooms or kitchens) or extreme fluctuations of temperature will be detrimental to paintings.
Oil or acrylic works should have a protective varnish. This provides a barrier to ensure that surface dirt and insect droppings do not penetrate the paint layer making cleaning difficult if not impossible. A feather duster used lightly over the face will remove any dust particles.
Full conservation framing should protect valuable works on paper. The term 'acid free' so often used
means very little - only that the paper is acid free when purchased. Wood pulp used in many mat cards
becomes acidic. Insist on rag mats or museum quality materials, they only cost a little more and are well
worth the investment. Consider using UV block glass or Perspex to protect valuable works.
Following a simple checklist approximately every twelve months will ensure paintings are kept in a safe and stable condition:
Should your painting show signs of any of the above it should be taken to a reputable framer or conservator for advice and treatment.
If in doubt, ask. Advice costs nothing and with a little care and vigilance paintings should last through many generations and give pleasure for years to come.