How to Store Canvas Paintings

Over the centuries, it has been a common practice to paint over previously completed canvasses. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Picasso all have instances of covering up old work with new. 

It’s painful to think about. Who knows how many masterworks were lost due to this practice?

As such, any skill-level painter should keep their work. Instead of recycling canvasses, learn how to save them. 

Whether you’re an artist or a collector, you need to learn how to protect and preserve your paintings. This guide will show you how to store canvas paintings.

Climate Control 

This first rule is true if you are wondering how to store canvass prints. The same will be true on how to store loose sketches. Really, any type of art requires climate control.

Humidity, heat, and temperature swings can all be devastating to paintings. Mold can grow, paint can chip, and canvas can stretch in poor climates.

Canvas is temperature sensitive. Keep your works in a cool, dry place for the best results. In a climate-controlled room, paintings can be preserved for many years. 

Away from Sunlight  

Think of any museum you’ve ever been to. Notice how there are never windows situated in a way that the sun hits the artwork. 

This is because sunlight is harsh. UV rays will fade the colors in the paint. Over time, the original image will be a shell of its old self. Worse still, the sunlight can deteriorate the actual canvass.

Both instances are ruinous to paintings. Keep them away from the sun. 

Store Upright

When moving your painting into storage, always keep them in the upright position. Laying the canvas down will result in the fabric sagging. If you stack paintings this way, the pressure will permanently imprint the framework into the picture.

The safest method is to file the canvas together upright like books on a shelf. This will preserve the picture for the long term.

Keep them Off the Floor 

Not only should they be stood upright, but the canvases should also be stored off of the floor. On the floor, your paintings are susceptible to all types of damages.

If you store them in your workshop, canvases are vulnerable to paint splatter or spills. If you have a storage unit, a possibility of pests exists with floor storage. Invest in shelving that will keep the art organized and off the ground.

Cover the Works 

It is always a good idea to cover individual paintings. Anything such as a pillowcase, bedsheet, or cheesecloth will work. This cover provides an extra level of protection for the canvas. If works are stored in close proximity to each other, a cloth will keep them from rubbing together.

Furthermore, the covering protects from dust, light, and any other potential wear and tear. It is particularly useful if the paintings are move around often.

How to Store Canvas Paintings with Care

As your collection of paintings grows, keep these tips in mind. This is how to store canvas paintings with care. Preserve your work for the long term. With any luck, your work, like the masters before, will last centuries.

If you found this article useful, keep an eye on the blog for more interesting industry trends. 

Tyler Mathews

Tyler Mathews