Protecting Artwork, 5 Important Things to Consider


Why Protect ArtWork?

Typically art isn’t cheap to buy and may also have deep emotional significance so it makes sense to want to protect it. From a sellers point of view you want to do all you can to ensure your buyer has the best rewards from their purchase possible.

So what does artwork need protecting from? I think this really depends on the environment where it will be displayed and could include:

  • being knocked or bumped
  • fingerprints
  • smoke
  • dust
  • uv light.

Ways of Protecting Artwork

Depending on what you are protecting it from you may want to choose a sturdy frame with glass front or place it out of reach of trouble. Many people also suggest placing out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Art can also be protected from sunlight by using a varnish with UV protection.

Protecting my Artwork

My art that needs protecting is mainly acrylic, mixed media or oil and I paint on a range of supports e.g. wood panels, canvas, heavy weight paper. Wood panels are the most robust and would survive some bumping while paper based art is the most vulnerable. I spray all my finished pieces with a varnish (paint on in the case of oils) and acrylic pieces get a UV varnish to enhance the longevity of the pigments. Paper based pieces I frame, or would suggest framing, and some canvas pieces I shadow frame.

What About Prints of Original Artwork?

In order to make sure prints last as long as possible I use pigment inks in my printer instead of the cheaper die based replacement inks. Pigment inks are more archival and less prone to fade than dye based inks. They also need protection from spillages so I package them in cellophane so they reach their new home in tip top condition. To keep them that way they should be mounted and framed behind glass or at least sprayed with a anti UV acrylic spray.

I hope this has been of interest and you can buy (or sell) art with more confidence.

Hugs, Ceri xx

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