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We've served a discerning and loyal clientele from all over Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas for over 40 years. Come see why they always come back to their "We Can Do It!" crew at The Frame Shop Gallery! 
Copyright 2002 - 2017
Dave & Donna Roberts
The Frame Shop Gallery
1315 East State Route 72
Rolla, MO 65401
All rights reserved.

The Frame Shop works with many customers who wonder how to care for paintings and other artwork on canvas. Often, these paintings have been purchased while our clients travel all over the world. 

Sometimes paintings are very professionally prepared, but other times, the canvases and substrates utilized by the artist are rather fragile and require special consideration in handling. Other times our customers come to us with "paintings" that are really computer-generated prints. These types of prints may be  referred to as Giclees by the seller.

With this in mind, we thought it might be helpful to offer a few suggestions about caring for your precious canvases. These tips are mainly geared toward the care and preservation of real oil paintings, but may also help preserve your other pieces on canvases.

Avoid Excessive Light or Darkness
Very high light levels can cause the darkening or fading of an oil painting. To avoid damage caused by light, don't expose paintings to direct sunlight. High light levels also can cause excessive exposure to heat. In addition, commercial lights shouldn't be positioned too close to the painting. Avoid using lights that are mounted to the frame or too close to the painting. Try to use diffused lights that are positioned at least ten feet from the painting to avoid damages from heat buildup.

Last, oil paintings should not be stored in a the dark for long periods of time. Storing a painting in the dark will cause the oil painting to become darker over time.
Avoid High Temperatures and Humidity
Extreme changes in humidity and temperature can make the canvas and wood stretchers supporting the painting expand or contract. This expansion or contraction can damage the painting. Canvas and wood stretchers can absorb moisture, which may cause them to expand on humid days and shrink on dry days. Oil paint can crack and flake off as a result of the expansion and contraction of the canvas and wood stretchers. It can also prove damaging to your art if it is hung too close to a heating or cooling vent in your home. The constant change in temperature is hard on your canvas and stretcher bars.

To properly display your oil paintings, try to maintain the following temperature range:

Temperature 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit            
Humidity 40%-45%                                         

Temperature 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity 45%-55%

Handle Your Oil Paintings Carefully
When transporting an oil painting, hold the painting on both sides. Avoid grasping a painting from the top of the frame, and don't hold it by the hanging wire. Try to avoid bumping oil paintings on canvas because even the slightest bump can cause future cracking of the paint surface.
Keep Dirt Off Your Oil Paintings
Dirt can attract mold, pollutants and moisture to the surface of a painting. These elements can damage the painting. So, remember to keep paintings away from areas where people smoke. Also, paintings shouldn't be hung near fireplaces or very close to candles.
Clean Your Oil Paintings Carefully
You can usually keep your paintings clean by lightly wiping the surface with a soft, clean micro fiber cloth or an anti-static cloth. Both of these cloths act like magnets that lift loose dust off the painting while avoiding scratches to the painting or varnished surface. Cotton swabs that have been dampened with distilled water can be lightly dabbed on the surface to remove surface dirt that can't be removed by wiping. It is usually unwise to for the amateur to attempt a serious cleaning and varnishing of paintings. Only a trained conservator should be permitted to handle these types of repairs. Check for professional recommendations before entrusting your painting to someone who claims to be a conservator!