Product Care

Congrats on getting your artwork! And thank you so much again for ordering; it means the world to me when someone looks at my work and thinks, “Damn, I want to own that.” So thank you! Here’s how to generally maintain your piece so that it lasts as long as possible, followed by some information for specific types of work below.

All artwork, regardless of whether it’s a print or an original, does best away from direct sunlight and in a low humidity environment where it will not be exposed to extreme heat or cold. In direct sunlight, all inks and pigmented substances such as paint eventually fade over time, regardless of the quality of the materials. If you have an environment that is too humid, the paper or even the materials like paint can begin to mold and eat away at the paper or canvas. So it’s important to choose a spot to display your work that doesn’t get the full blast of sunlight every day, as well as a drier spot in your home– so maybe keep it out of the bathroom and kitchen. Attics and basements may not be ideal unless temperature controlled.

For any framed pieces, be careful to apply cleaning products indirectly by spraying it on your cleaning cloth before cleaning the glass; if you spray the product directly onto the glass of the frame, the liquid may leak down into the bottom and get soaked up by the matte, potentially damaging the print or causing mold growth.

Remember that the oils on your hands and fingers can cause damage to the piece over time, so it’s important to handle the piece as little as possible and only ever by the edges when necessary. When using your bare hands, try to make sure your hands are clean, dry, and as oil-free as you can make them before handling your piece. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can wear white cotton gloves or powder-free nitrile gloves when handling your piece.

Cigarette smoke and other smoke can leave residue on your piece, so store/display your piece in a well-ventilated area away from smoke whenever possible for optimal preservation.

Frames designed to hold art prints and other fine art will work better at protecting your piece than regular glass.

Be careful to remove any jewelry or watches before handling your piece to prevent scratches to the surface of your piece.

If dust builds up on your piece, do not blow on it or apply chemicals, water, etc. to the piece. Blowing can inadvertently transmit damaging saliva to the piece, and chemicals in cleaning agents can cause damage or mold growth.

When you store your piece for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to keep it contained in acid-free cotton pages rather than in plastic sheets since plastic cases can promote mold growth and degradation of the piece itself. You should always store your piece flat, too.

Art Prints

  • Art prints should be stored or displayed flat, and they do best when framed with an acid-free matte to prevent the inked surface from touching the glass, thus preventing condensation forming and damaging the print. If you must roll your print for storage or moving, it’s best to do so for as brief a time as possible and to re-flatten the paper using heavy books immediately after unrolling it.
  • When handling the print, be careful to hold it only by the edges or the back so as not to leave fingerprints on the image.
  • Keep objects away from your print– even seemingly innocent objects can cause scratches!

Giclée Prints

  • Giclée prints, pronounced kinda like zhee-clay, are printed on archival, non wood paper with archival ink. What this means is that the giclée print you’ve purchased is guaranteed by the printer to last at least 60-200 years when properly stored and displayed. Holy crow, right? You still need to be careful in your handling and storage of your print, though, because as I mentioned, all inks, no matter how great in quality, will eventually fade if exposed to direct sunlight, and mold can still become an issue in excessively humid environments.
  • As with art prints, giclée prints do best when stored or displayed flat, and an acid-free matte is recommended when framing to keep the inked side from coming in contact with the glass, thus preventing condensation forming and damaging the print. Handling the giclée print is also best done by the edges.
  • Keep objects away from your print– even seemingly innocent objects can cause scratches!

Originals and Canvas Prints

I sell my original artwork as ink, paintings, or some combination of the two. If you purchase an original ink or ink and paint piece that comes on flat paper, you should follow the above handling guidelines for the prints.

If you purchase an original painting on canvas or a canvas print, here’s what kind of care you’ll want to take with it:

  • Be careful not to lean anything, regardless of the shape or material, on the canvas since even a little pressure can have a distorting, scratching, or pulling effect on the stretched fabric.
  • You should gently and regularly dust your painting with a clean, dry, soft-bristled brush to prevent dust buildup. Never apply cleaning product to a painting either directly or indirectly as the chemicals can interact with the paint and destroy it. Using a cloth can potentially cause small threads to get caught on the paint, and a stiff brush or even a feather duster can cause tiny scratches on the surface of your piece.
  • When moving or handling your painting, it’s best to wear gloves (white cotton or powder-free nitrile) or at least have clean, oil-free hands.
  • When moving your painting, try to avoid holding it by the top frame; use both hands on the sides instead.
  • To hang your painting, you’ll want to use appropriate, sturdy mounting on your wall and avoid using nails, push pins, and the like to hang heavier paintings because they can be inadequate in support, but for smaller, lighter paintings, they can be fine. When choosing a place to hang your painting, be sure to choose a spot where you can drive the mounting into the studs and not into the drywall. For heavier paintings, you might want to consider using a bracket at the bottom to help support the weight. I would recommend checking out Martha Stewart’s video How to Hang a Painting. If you would like a transcript of this video, please follow this link where I have created one for you: Transcript for How to Hang a Painting
  • To transport your painting or canvas print, you’ll want to take extra steps to protect it. This includes placing a flat piece of cardboard sized to your piece on both sides then using bubble wrap or an eco-friendlier alternative to wrap around the painting. Be sure not to leave your piece stored in this manner for too long of a time, though, to prevent the buildup of condensation from the wrapping.

As you can tell, caring for your artwork can be an involved process, and I would recommend you look further into care for your print or original artwork if you’re concerned about its preservation, and of course, you can always e-mail me about any care questions you have!