Guide to Properly Storing Your Art

Storing your art
Image by Art Collection 75 of the artist Jurgen Borgers and licensed through Creative Commons.

Nothing sets the tone of your home or speaks to your artistic fashion more than oil paintings. Situations like moving, remodeling, or changing artwork; however, may make it necessary for you to find out more about art canvas storage. When stored properly, your oil paintings will last for a very long time, making canvas oil paintings a very good investment.

Renting a Storage Unit

Storage units provide an immediate solution for your art canvas storage needs. With availability in most cities and towns, a storage unit can provide short or long term storage at a reasonable price. You will want to make sure that the unit you select meets criteria important for storing artwork. Learn more about how to choose the best lock for your storage unit here.

  • The unit that you select should be climate controlled. Excessive cold, heat, and moisture can damage your paintings. Selecting a unit that has a consistent temperature and humidity will help keep your paintings in pristine condition. The ideal unit is cool, dark, and dry.
  • Check for signs of insect infestation. You want to make sure that the storage unit is free of insects. Some insects actually eat the canvas or the frame. Insect droppings also contain an acid that damages paint.
  • Make sure that your paintings are stored standing upright. Leaning paintings have a greater chance of being dented or scratched.

Proper Protection

Knowing the proper way to protect your paintings makes your art canvas storage easier and helps prevent unnecessary damage to your artwork.

  • The best way to protect your canvas is to frame it. A frame provides a sturdy surface that protects against bent edges and chipped paint.
  • Place polystyrene between your paintings. Polystyrene is a foam that can be found at hardware stores. It helps to prevent scratches and keeps dust from accumulating.

Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing a few helpful hints will help keep your artwork in its original condition and allow you to enjoy it for years to come.

  • Do remove dust from the canvas as soon as you realize that dust has accumulated. Use a clean, dry, white, cotton cloth and gently sweep the dust off of the surface.
  • Do not store your oil paintings in plastic of any kind. Plastic wrap and plastic boxes trap moisture and moisture is your paintings’ worst enemy.
  • Do use a wet canvas carrier for any canvas that has not had time to sufficiently dry. Once the canvas has dried, protect it using the steps listed.
  • If you have a lot of oil paintings, do consider using a numbering system in combination with the proper storage methods. Numbering and photographing your paintings provides an extra level of security in case something should happen to your paintings while in storage. Your insurance agent will thank you for having such detailed records.

All of the tips listed will help you keep your artwork nice, but the best storage suggestion is to hang your oil paintings. Hung on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, your oil paintings will last and be enjoyed by generations of family and friends.

Paul Benjamin works for EZ Storage, a company providing clean and secure self storage units in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Missouri