Handle with Care: Part 2
Expert Tips for Maintaining your Artwork
Whether you’ve ordered a new piece of art or are just planning on it, you may be asking yourself, “how do I hang it?” and “how do I take care of it?” And these are great questions!
Fortunately, artist Julia Contacessi has some great tips to help you hang and maintain your growing art collection. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure sure your investment stays looking as vibrant as the day you first hung it.
Bringing your art home
When your piece of art arrives at your door, the first thing to do is take it out of the box. When doing this, it’s important to open your box carefully- avoid using a box knife or scissors to slice through that tape. Feel free to spend time during this process, you’re opening a present!
Once your art is out of the box, it’s time to locate it in its new home. If you haven’t already selected a space, you may want to place your art in one room a day until you find a spot where it just ‘fits’. Avoid locations that are overly-sunny, as UV rays may damage your artwork over time.
Hanging your art
Consider the surface you’re hanging the work on and plan accordingly. Get the right screws and a stud finder for drywall or plaster, high-quality low-profile hooks for glass or tile, and brick clamps for brick. There are some great hardware kits that have a little of everything to keep all bases covered, but if you are looking for something specific picturehardware.com usually delivers! Using the right tools for the job will keep your art safely on the wall. Check out my Framing and Hanging Your Art youtube playlist for some helpful videos.
When it comes time to hang the piece, take a tip from the pros and measure 57” from the ground, which is the eye level of the average person. Hang your piece so that the center of the artwork hits this 57” mark.
For pieces that are hung above existing furniture, leave a 6-12” space between the furniture and the bottom of your art. Center your piece horizontally in the middle of the wall or the center of a piece of furniture.
You can also display art without hanging it at all, perfect for commitment-phobes and chronic rearrangers. Try leaning a piece against the wall at floor level to hide unsightly cords and cables or rest a piece against the wall on top of a shelf or chest of drawers.
Maintaining your art
You’re in love with this piece of art and you want it to remain beautiful and inspiring for decades to come. Following a simple cleaning routine every few months is all that’s needed to keep your work in its gorgeous original shape.
For canvas pieces, use a soft cloth and gently wipe down the piece. Doing this every few months will keep your art dust-free and in great condition.
For framed pieces, use a microfiber cloth and an ammonia-free glass cleaner to wipe down the frame and glass. Be sure to spray the cleaner onto the cloth and not the glass to avoid it leaking into the frame and damaging the art.
Periodically, check the hanging hardware to make sure that the fittings are secure, and your artwork is hanging as firmly as when you originally placed it. For canvas in particular, environmental conditions like humidity and temperature can affect the tension of the canvas, making it more taut or looser accordingly. You can adjust this with water if necessary, by misting a little bit at a time to the back side of the canvas.
That’s all! Add these tasks to your to-do list (just like checking your smoke detector battery!) and your art will continue to bring joy to your life for years to come.