You have just purchsed a piece of fine art! This guide will help you select the best frame and location to protect your art investment so you may be able to enjoy it for years to come. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding framing and care for your new art at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Works on Paper
Works on paper need to be framed. Paper can wrinkle or crease and become brittle if not cared for properly. Works on paper should also be covered with some type of “glazing” to protect them. Typical glazing options for works on paper include glass or framing acrylic, more commonly known as plexiglass.
Frames are available both ready-made and custom. Ready-made frames come in industry standard sizes. US sizes are in standard inch sizes, where European sizes are designated by “A sizes”, measured in centimeters. If you have purchased art that is not a standard size, you will probably need to have a frame custom made to ensure it is looks its’ best when it is displayed.
Ready-made frames are available with or without glazing. Most frames that come with glass are intended for photographs, not necessarily fine art. Open back frames allow you to choose your type of glazing depending on what type of protection you prefer for your art.
Reputable framers are very knowledgeable with different art mediums and can guide you in your framing and mat selections to make sure your art is beautifully presented and adequately protected.
Pastel paintings should be handled with special care.
Artists who work in pastel and charcoal may spray the art with a fixative. Many artists choose not to do so because the spray darkens the pastel colors and disturbs the texture of the pastel strokes as the droplets splatter the pastel. Do not spray the art without direct permission from the artist.
AVOID TOUCHING the SURFACE of the artwork. If you must lay some protective covering over the pastel for transporting, use wax paper, affixing it so it will not slide around damaging the art. It is better if you can lift the protective covering with spacers/risers along the outside edges so it does not touch the art at all. The framer should not lay a ruler or mat or frame samples on top of the pastel. Handle pastel paintings extremely gently if/when working face side down. When securing the painting into frame, lean painting vertically so loose pastel dust will not fall on glass.
A professional framer will be familiar with proper framing of pastels. Pastel artwork must be protected under glass. Do not use Plexiglas or acrylic because it will build up a static charge when cleaned that will draw some of the particles of pastel off the paper and create a fine mist of dust inside the frame. Also, the artwork must not touch the glass as this will cause the pastel medium to rub off.
Pastel is a very delicate medium and quality framing is necessary for the art to properly protected. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding framing pastel artwork.
Where to Hang Your New Art
Deciding where to hang your art is the most important decision you can make to ensure it provides you many years of enjoyment. Here are a few rules about choosing the right place to hang fine art.
- Never hang artwork in direct sunlight. UV rays will damage artwork quickly, so it is always best to not hang art in front of a window or very sunny area. While most professional artists use the best lightfast archival products possible, art can fade in just a few weeks if hung in direct sunlight, and UV resistant glass or acrylic does not filter out all damaging UV rays.
- Never hang in areas that are subject to severe temperature change or weather. Temperature changes can cause condensation inside glass which can damage artwork and/or frame. If you live in areas where there are large temperature variations, it is best to not put art in an outdoor space. Art in outdoors space may draw damaging moisture from the weather, as well as extreme temperatures may cause glass breakage.
- Never hang in area subject to excess dirt and dust. Sometimes people hang art in barns to create a homey environment, however it is not always a safe place for art. Even when properly framed, art can still collect dust and other contaminates inside that may damage the work. If you chose to hang art in a barn or stable, a viewing area, office, or tack room, are better choices than a main barn aisle.
Once you have framed and hung your work, you will still have to do light maintenance to both protect it and make sure it stays looking great. For most work, a light, regular dusting will be all it needs. Use dusting materials that do not use sprays or chemicals as they can seep into the frame, or damage the finish to the frame or art. Feather duster, Swiffer-type dusters, and microfiber rags, all work well to dust art without the use of prepared dusting sprays or polishes. If the frame is dusty and you need to give it a little shine up with dusting spray, apply the spray to the cleaning cloth and then carefully wipe the frame. Do not spray the artwork directly. The same applies to glass cleaners. If you use a glass cleaner, try an ammonia free cleaner and apply to the cleaning cloth and then wipe the glass.
I hope these tips help you to selece the proper framing technique and placement of your artwork so you may enjoy it for a very long time!