Answer: Water damage, direct sunlight, and physical damage.
Here are some few tips on how to protect your artwork from being damage.
In that case of oil paintings and acrylics:
- Vanish your artwork to protect it from dust, dirt, and moisture.
- Keep your original artwork out of direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.
- Protect it against humidity by keeping your artwork in a cool dry place to avoid water damage and mold. Avoid places where temperatures and humidity levels fluctuate a great deal since extreme temperatures and moisture can damage the artwork. Temperature fluctuations can also affect canvas stretcher bars by expanding them and contracting them, which will result in the canvas either sagging and/or cracking the paint.
- Framing artwork always adds an extra protection to the edges of the paintings. However, paintings don’t need to be framed under glass.
- For extra protection, attach small cork pieces to the back of the frame to prevent mold from forming, by allowing air to circulate behind your framed art.
- Never spray commercial cleaners on your painting. Never use commercial products to clean your bare artwork. Use a feather duster to dislodge dust particles from the surface. Cloth material may leave lint.
- When moving the artwork, warp your artwork properly by using cardboard corners and bubble wrap or sheets to cover them. Secure them well before moving your art. Avoid leaving the artwork too long in the packaging as moisture may form and damage your painting.
Drawing, Oil Pastel, Color Pencil, Charcoal and Watercolors
- Frame art behind glass, preferably under UV-protected glass. Frame your artwork under a glass or clear plastic frame to protect it from dust tears, sunlight, dirty fingers, insects, and accidental damages
- Also in the case of watercolors, colors may fade if watercolors are exposed to strong lighting conditions. In the case of pastels, full sun can fade the colors but they can survive strong light or indirect sunlight.
- Never touch the surface of the art or place anything on its surface to avoid smearing.
- In the case of drawings, many artists use fixatives to prevent smears and smudges. While glass offers some UV protection, some artist go an extra step and use several coats of UV protective fixative to provide an extra layer of protection to the artwork and even to displayed without glass. Unprotected colored pencil drawings are likely to be affected by wax bloom, which is a white haze that appears over time as the wax medium rises to the surface. Using several coats of fixative will prevent wax bloom and preserve the look of your original art.
- A high-quality UV protective artist fixative is your best choice for a final fixative, and you should always test the product to be sure it performs to your expectations.
Artwork not displayed
- Stored artwork in a clean, dry, dark and well-ventilated area.
- Store unframed artwork flat with acid-free paper between each item, and store individual items in archival-quality envelopes. Avoid storing art between cardboard, as it is highly acidic.
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