Store Your Art Works Like an Expert
How to store your art collection like an expert: storing artwork can seem daunting. easyStorage has collated some handy hints to help.
Decide where to store
When deciding where to store artwork, keep in mind the following:
- Most attics and basements aren’t properly sealed and temperatures vary more than other parts of the home. Unless you have a space that’s sealed and climate controlled, think about professional external storage.
- Do not store against an external wall to avoid the risks of sun and weather which can fade and/or damage artwork.
- In an ideal world, do not store on the floor.
easyStorage’s easyPods are sealed units that are stored in temperature controlled, dry storage units. These units do not offer general public access, meaning that there are less likely to be problems caused by other users storing things badly.
A no obligation quote for storage can be obtained here: https://book.easystorage.com/
Prepare artwork for storage
To stop dust from settling, and protect from rust or damage:
- Use a clean microfibre cloth to remove any dust.
- Depending upon what the artwork is made of, use a wood polish or metal polish if necessary, both to avoid any rust and protect surfaces.
- Consider having the piece professionally cleaned before storage.
- Also before storing, make sure the artwork, and everything surrounding it, is totally dry.
- If paintings aren’t mounted, consider packing against foam board rather than rolling into a tube. A tube may render the artwork misshapen and some modern paint types may adhere or crack. Packing flat is likely to better protect the work.
- Corners of frames or blocks are the most vulnerable parts during transport. Make or buy corner protectors. (Many art shops sell them.)
Wrapping the piece for storage
It is always worth spending money on good quality packaging - such as easyStorage Boxes ones:
- Make sure all packing materials are acid-free, from wrappings to boxes.
- For most pieces, a high-quality packing paper, blanket or cloth will allow air to circulate whilst offering protection.
- Bubble wrap provides protection: it distributes pressure, spreads any impact and prevents unwanted movement.
- Saran is a trade name for a thin plastic film, barely permeable water vapor, smells and oxygen. Whilst some collectors have their art saran wrapped before storing, in the same way as nothing can get in, nothing can get out, so there’s a risk of trapping humidity – or worse - inside. Avoid!
- Boards! Crescent board is an acid-free mounting board often used by professionals to separate art pieces from touching each other when stacked or in transit. This way the piece is protected, but it can still breathe. If storing valuable pieces, you may want to consider sourcing this online from a reputable firm. Foam board is a great, easily accessible, alternative. Sandwich paintings, collages, tapestries etc between two pieces, with the borders extending 2-3 inches beyond the edges of the work (which may be bubble wrapped). Then seal the two boards together with tape.
- Use a good quality tape to seal boxes. This ensure that the outer package stays shut in transit, keeps moisture out, and is usually easier and faster to apply. Low quality tape may not adhere as well, may fail to provide good moisture protection, and is false economy as users generally end up using twice as much as it’s harder to apply. Never apply tape to the artwork itself, only to the packaging. (Google the ‘H-taping method’ for handy hints on applying tape in a secure way.)
- Styrofoam-type packing ‘peanuts’ often settle during shipping and fail to provide adequate protection. Not recommended.
- Pack the box securely. Packed artwork may come under pressure from the weight of other objects and any bumps during being moved. Works of art that are loose inside a package are more likely to be damaged. Paper fillers make good buffers, but newspaper wrapping may leave ink on your work, and magazine paper and plastic bags may stick to it, so ensure it’s not touching (or used for wrapping, of course).
- Take care while packing not to apply too much pressure to the surface of artworks – it might leave indentations, especially on canvas.
- If artworks are framed with glass, consider removing it from the frame and packing the glass separately. It has to be your call, but this offers protection to the artwork should the glass break or crack, and allows firmer packaging of the glass.
- Don’t forget to mark boxes ‘FRAGILE’ where appropriate.
- Do not allow anything damp, perishable or mouldy to be stored in the same storage unit as your art work.
easyStorage’s service costs around half the price of traditional self-storage facilities. Moreover, customer’s goods are collected for storage, returned when required, and easyStorage professionals can even pack for you.
A range of packing materials is available at https://easystorageboxes.com/