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Caring for your artwork.

At Modern Fine Arts the techniques used in creating and framing your artwork is largely the same as those used by artists for many hundreds of years. These techniques have generally proven themselves to produce art that is relatively resilient despite their fragile nature. All being well and if treated right your artwork should outlive us all and be around for many more years after. However in order to improve the longevity and general condition of your artwork we would like to draw your attention to the following tips and advice.

  1. Touching your artwork: Whilst we do not go as far as suggesting you use kid gloves to handle your artwork as this of course would be ideal. Try to minimise touching the surface as much as possible as the slight acidity of your fingers can damage the artwork over time, this is especially for black prints and paintings. If you ever feel that the print needs some form of cleaning (and it really shouldn’t for quite a while if well treated) then simply give it a light dust (one that won’t leave behind any fibres or lint). If by some way you have marked or stained the artwork and you have no option but to clean, do not use any form of detergent or cleaning product on the surface of your print, just a light clean with a clean damp cloth which has been thoroughly been wrung out should be enough.
  2. Room conditions and your artwork: Sunlight is by far the worst enemy of them all, pictures can fade in just one summer. Hanging a picture in direct sunlight for more than an hour at any time is too much. Try to avoid hanging the artwork where it is exposed to strong direct sunlight. If you live in the UK this might not seem such a threat but do bear in mind that your artwork is created from natural pigments and like all pigments will fade over time. Generally, you needn’t worry about this for at least seventy years but strong sunlight can accelerate the process and bleach all the colours. Temperature differences can also affect the stretching of the artwork, if the picture is hung in an area that is susceptible to large temperature differences it will end up becoming lose and can only be rectified by stretching again.
  3. Hanging your artwork: Again we believe that art should be something you live with and enjoy and not something that you worry about. However there are certain sensible precautions you can take to look after your artwork.
    Most importantly – wherever possible avoid changes in humidity. If you hang the artwork in a humid environment (even for a few weeks) the canvas will relax and the artwork will become ‘saggy’ and ‘flappy’ and will require re-stretching. Of course, this can be restretched for you but not without some reasonable risk to the artwork so is best avoided.
    Whilst we would never say hang the artwork in the bathroom or a kitchen, you should be aware that this may reduce the lifespan of your artwork and cause it to sag excessively over time. Also we suggest that you do not hang your artwork over a direct heat source such as a fire or radiator, but of course, many people might wish to hang the artwork above a fireplace, which again, may reduce the lifespan of the artwork, but in our opinion art is meant to be enjoyed.
  4. Just after purchase: The canvas will naturally relax a little over the first few months as gravity takes its toll and this is normal. However, due to natural levels of humidity the artwork may need to be re-stretched in the future (hopefully not to an extent that it needs redoing for a few years if well treated). We strongly recommend that you get a professional to do the work for you. If you plan to undertake this work yourself please be sure that you can indeed perform the task, remember professional framers like us at Modern Fine Arts use specialized tools like canvas pliers to perform these tasks.

We at Modern Fine Arts hope that this guide has gave you some insight into the care of your oil painting or art print, but please bear in mind though that this is only a general guide and you should contact your seller for more specialized advice on your particular piece.

For one of eBays largest oil painting and print collections for sale please view our ebay shop at

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