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shadow imageCare of your Painting or Print:

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One of the first things to do is to check that the string, chain, or wire your art-work will hang by is more than strong enough for the job, and that it is securely tied and fastened to the frame. Also check that the wall hanger is up to the job. Generally this is just a matter of common sense. Ask someone who knows about these things if you are not sure.

Where to hang it? This question is probably better answered by saying where not to hang it. Avoid situations where strong direct light of any kind will fall upon the image, particularly strong sunlight. Note that fluorescent light also has a detrimental effect. If you bear in mind that all light will affect your painting (especially if the painting is a watercolour), then you must do your best to minimise the risk. Of course, this is not to suggest that you leave it locked away in a box in a darkened room, you, presumably, bought it to look at. Simply choose carefully the ideal location, say, not next to a large window but in a less bright alcove. Oil paintings are probably less susceptible to the effects of light.

Sources of extremes of temperature should also be avoided, such as above a radiator, or fireplace with an active fire. If the temperature of the painting's environment is constant, it is probably not quite so bad as a location where the temperature fluctuates (warmth during the day and cold during the night, for example). Again, it is extremes that you must avoid.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that you should not hang any artwork on a wall that contains, or is prone to, dampness. This will very quickly promote mould which, if untreated, will damage the painting badly.

Be mindfull, also, of the hazards of location. If, for example, a heavy painting was hung above a stairwell or high on a wall above the stairs, then, some years later, the string it is hanging by breaks because it has deteriorated (due to dampness from the wall, perhaps). Here the the location is the hazard, not only because the painting will suffer greater damage but also because those who may be beneath it when it falls will probably sustain injury. Paintings on narrow stairs, too, are vulnerable to the errant elbow!

Cleaning works of art is best left to those who are trained, qualified and experienced to do it.

It is alright to lightly dust your painting ... use soft non-abrasive cloths or very soft brush, and it is best to avoid spraying them with polishes or chemicals. Ask your local qualified picture framer for advice. Ideally, they should be Guild Commended Framers (in the UK) at least. By "Guild" I mean the Fine Art Trade Guild. Their website address is www.fineart.co.uk (see my "Links" page for the link)

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