Many Texans have paintings in their households ranging from self-made hobby pieces to intricate originals. Whether priceless for its sentimentality or priceless in a more literal sense, paintings are incredibly fragile and great care should go into storing them to ensure they keep in good condition no matter the circumstances.
While the best place for these items is, of course, on display in your home, you may need to find them a temporary home while you attend to other duties, such as moving or renovations. There are many guidelines to follow and many common pitfalls to avoid when placing your treasured artwork in a facility.
If Your Piece is Framed:
- Wrap your artwork tightly in packing cloth or bubble wrap and then seal it with packing tape. At the front and back of it, tape and seal the hardboard to protect it.
If Not Framed:
- Cover the front of the canvas with a sheet of silicon and then wrap it in glassine paper. Use hardboard to pad the front and back and then wrap it again in bubble wrap. Use packing tape to secure all the materials together into a neat bundle.
Moving and Storing
Where you store your artwork can be equally as, if not more important than how you store it! Don’t expect your artwork to survive a Texas summer in many basic storage units, as they may lack sufficient climate control or leak protection. Certain insects, such as silverfish, termites, or others may be attracted to old canvas or wooden frames, leading to devastating damages if left unchecked.
Here’s what to look for in a storage unit, and how you should store your paintings inside:
- Seek a climate-controlled unit, as temperature changes could warp the canvas, causing the paint to come off
- Don’t store paintings on top or leaning against each other. If you need to, use heavy padding between them and seek plenty of additional space
- Lay them on a flat surface for longtime storage
- Do not lay them on concrete floors or walls, as they may absorb the dampness and moisture that accumulates there
- Take them out of storage to air them out if you are storing them for a prolonged amount of time
Luckily, Amy’s Attic is proud to provide climate-controlled, 24/7 surveillance-monitored facilities all across Central Texas. Not only is Amy’s Attic renowned for its customer service, it’s also among the safest places to store sensitive heirlooms such as paintings.
My Paintings Are Damaged – What Now?
Even with every precaution taken, some storage methods may lead to damage anyway, especially to extremely delicate pieces or antiques. Thankfully, there exist many methods to repair damaged paintings or frames, available both from home and from professionals.
Rips or Tears:
- While a tear in a painting’s canvas can seem like the end of the world, this is actually among the easiest issues to repair at home, with amazingly cheap materials. All you need is acid-free glue (think Elmer’s non-toxic), scissors, hardboard, a hefty weight, and (optionally) your painting supplies of choice.
- Locate the site of the tear, carefully flatten the torn sections back together, then affix a patch of similar canvas to the back of the painting with the glue, leaving plenty of overlap between your patch’s edges and undamaged canvas.
- After ensuring the patch is secured, place the hardboard over the section, then the weight. Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours.
- Following this technique, the tear should be flattened against the canvas, though it may still be visible from the front. Depending upon the piece, you may attempt to paint over the tear yourself or hire a professional.
- While water can severely damage a painting’s frame, stain its canvas, or worse, erode the paint itself, in many cases the damage inflicted can still be reversed. Water damage is among the most difficult to address with home remedies however, and the best course of action is to consult with a local painting restoration expert.
- Water can shrink or distort the canvas, blanch the painting’s color, or even induce mold growth if left in the watery or moist environment for too long. Be highly cautious if you decide to address water damage without professional training or counsel.
- While paintings may naturally begin to wear down as time passes, this by no means spells doom for your treasured heirlooms or antiques. Painting restoration specialists can do wonders to reverse the ravages of time, even in more unorthodox pieces, such as those painted onto genuine leather.
As older paintings are of course more delicate, it may be best to consult with a professional before attempting to reverse the effects of aging at home. In addition to the risk of causing irrevocable damage to the painting, the chemicals and processes necessary to clean many old paintings can be toxic or even deadly if handled improperly.
Looking to Add to Your Collection?
Central Texas has a vibrant art scene, and local artists are always eager to show and sell what they have created. Purchasing from local artists not only helps support the proliferation of art within the community, but also gifts you a one-of-a-kind piece, and a glimpse into that artist’s message with an intimacy which famous, big names rarely offer—especially not at such low prices!
My Giving Tree Gift Shop & Art Gallery
Phone: (254) 939-8733
Address:121 N East St, Belton, TX 76513
Phone: (254) 947-3930
Address: 214 Creek Side Ctr, Salado, TX 76571
Phone: (254) 760-0572
Address: 600 N Main St #12, Salado, TX 76571
Amy’s Attic Self Storage
Amy’s Attic Self Storage would be delighted to provide a safe environment for your treasured pieces of art. With temperature-controlled units and a robust insurance program, we are ready to answer your questions and meet your storage needs. If you are interested in storing paintings or have any questions, please contact us at 855-426-9728.