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Looking After your Artwork

Curious about looking after your artwork? Here are a couple of useful tips to keep your pieces in great condition.

Ask the Artist:

Do what’s best for your art, there are so many different types of materials used in art so find which suits your art the best. For example, a canvas should never be kept under glass as it needs to breathe, on the other hand, artworks on paper are best framed under UV protected glass etc.

The first thing I would suggest you do – is to ask the artist how they clean their art. I know this sounds obvious but all the artists I know don’t bite, at least I don’t think they do, and will happily give advice about what to use. This is really important as the artist will be able to confirm what mediums were used in the piece and will also tell you what not to use to avoid damaging the art. 

Dust your Artwork:

Looking after your artwork. Lady cleaningAll the art I create is either mounted ready to be framed OR framed behind glass. I use a clean, soft cloth to dust the frame then I spray the dust cloth and clean the glass. Try to avoid spraying directly onto the glass as sometimes the liquid can seep down the side onto the artwork below, instead spray directly onto the cloth then clean the glass. Never use the vacuum cleaner!


At home I have an oil painting created with a palette knife, needless to say dust is irresistibly drawn to it! To keep it clean we use a very soft paintbrush and gently brush the dust off. Very occasionally the brush gets washed with washing-up liquid to keep it clean. Avoid cleaning products and water!

Other suggestions for looking after your artwork are common sense and a quick reinforcement of things we already know!

Avoid Sunlight:

Where possible avoid direct sunlight on most artworks as the sun will cause colours to fade, materials to breakdown, and the varnish, if it’s been used, to crack or take on a yellow tinge if subjected to bright sunlight for long periods of time.

Get the light right and your art will stay beautiful for many years to come.

A Stable Environment:

When selecting where to hang your new artworks, consider how the requirements of the materials used match up with the room where the piece is going to live. It’s a good idea to avoid hanging paintings directly above heat sources, as this can cause paintings and frames to warp and dis-colour. Also, if your art is above an open fireplace make sure the painting is not exposed to smoke.

Art in bathrooms and kitchens are very trendy so it’s important to be aware that even a framed and sealed artwork can eventually develop mould in a damp environment. So not necessarily one to avoid, just be aware and take a little care.

This article on looking after your artwork is written is around the type of materials I use to create my art. But as there is a widely variety of different art mediums, these are only suggestions.

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