Caring for your framed artwork.

Picture Framing Aftercare

Caring for your framed artwork is simple with these 5 tips!

Your fabulous picture, you love it so much you invited us to frame it for you, well thanks for that, we appreciate your custom. Sometimes we find people are not so sure about transporting their new acquisition, so we created a little list that might make the journey home safe, and less hassle, after all you want to protect your new investment, right?

Caring for your framed artwork starts from the moment you collect it from the store.

Transport it

  • Wrap it in a towel or a blanket – Sure you may not have far to go but one slip up can mean another trip to the framers for a scratched frame or a dented canvas.
  • Carry it right –  Not by the wire, it’s not made to bounce the frame up and down, hold the frame by the edges, not by the top edge either, that puts the frame under a lot of tension on one edge, trust me that’s not good, the frame may bow enough for the glass to pop out of that one edge… nasty. If it’s too big to reach from one side to the other to carry it, have two people do it.
  • Will it slide? – That depends on how hard you brake in traffic and yes it’s easy to get distracted and then BANG, your frame hits the back of your seat, or the inside of the boot of your car. Try and take it easy in traffic, but also consider how you might position the frame in your care to prevent it from moving in the event of hard braking, cushioning with blankets can be very useful.
  • Will something hit it? – In the boot of your car there can be other things floating about that can cause damage, groceries, tools, you name it if it’s loose it can cause damage.

Hang it

  • In the middle please – That’s obvious in many situations, measure twice, nail in the hanger once.
  • Is that the right height? – On a wall on it’s own with no furniture in front, the piece should hang at eye level, most museums set that at 1550mm up from the floor. If you have furniture in the way then think about the height and if other things will be put on the furniture that may obstruct the artwork from being seen.
  • One nail or two? – Use a picture framing hook rated to above the weight of your picture is good, if the frame is wide or in an area where there may be a breeze that can move it, consider using two hooks about 200 mm apart to provide horizontal stability.
  • Wall Studs – Good if you can find a wall stud to nail the hanger into, but often it’s not vital, if the piece is heavy then it is vital.
  • Don’t let go! – If the thing you hang your artwork on lets go then there can be an expensive mess to sort out. These days there are a range of devices that the manufacturer will tell you can hold the work up without having to put holes in the walls. That’s nice, but from the framers perspective we get annoyed that too many of these nice ideas fail. Possibly not the product itself but the paint on the wall may not have been cleaned well, the paint may not have dried enough, especially in a new home, and the list goes on. A crash, bang shatter at 2 am is not good, more nastiness.. It can scare the heck out of kids, the dog, maybe the cat too.
  • How high? – Museums hang most art at 1550mm up from the floor to an average eye height to the middle of the work, in some situations you might be taller, have other furnishings in the way or you have a statement piece that will hang on a high wall. Whatever the reason, you will probably aim for consistency with the height for most pieces. Measure twice, nail once…

Protect the art

  • Bang! Opps… – Replacing glass on broken frames is something we do quite often. It happens, a pet jumps up chasing a fly, the grandkids come over and in the mayhem of them playing, oops! Think about where you want to place the work so it’s out of reach as well as still looking good, or if you think it’s going to be in a difficult spot, consider having acrylic fitted, it doesn’t shatter like glass and it’s lighter.
  • We always recommend Uv protection, to read more about this follow the link to our conservation page. Here.

Clean it

  • It looks great hanging on the wall – I know you love the frame… Over time dust can settle on it, so use a light duster to keep the dust moving on. That’s usually all that is required.
  • Glass cleaner – Somehow you discover that the glass on the artwork is a bit greasy, use a cloth and spray the glass cleaner on to the cloth, not on to the glass itself. This helps to prevent moisture getting to the inside of the frame and causing water damage, usually on the bottom edge where the water has run down the glass… Consider taking the iterm off the wall for cleaning so that any movement of the frame doesn’t leave a scuff mark on your wall.

Store it

  • Font to front – The aim is to prevent getting the front surface of the frame damaged while it’s being stored. Turn them into each other. A layer of protective bubble wrap can be useful as well. In the case of canvases, go for microcell type foam wrap as the bubbles on bubble wrap can mark a canvas surface with prolonged exposure..
  • No dents please – Most canvases are stretched onto a frame to keep the canvas flat and let the air circulate, in storage the canvases can suffer damage if there is an object pressing up against it, this stretches the fabric and causes a dent. In a bad situation you can end up with a tear. Both can be fixed, but prevention is better than cure.

This is not a definitive guide to caring for your framed artwork, but hopefully a solid starting point to solving the challenges of looking after your artwork, either in the short ride home or in longer term storage.

If you require any further information regarding caring for your framed artwork please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 9360 0288.

Steve Gray

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