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Protecting your artwork

Like any of us, artworks also need upkeep from time to time. In this post, we will be talking about how to maintain art created using acrylic mediums. Though acrylic is one of the most versatile mediums and requires almost no special care, some basic steps would ensure that your artwork stays in mint condition for a long long time.

Acrylics are synthetically produced substances and hence can withstand high and low temperatures, varying humidity conditions and a bit of rough handling. When I say that it can withstand certain degree of temperature or humidity, it doesn't mean that you put the artwork in a crucible or your home pool to test it! All I mean is that acrylics remain archival unless exposed to inclement conditions. Below are the points to keep in mind to protect your artwork.

  • Acrylic artworks generally do not fade if hung indoors and are not exposed to direct scorching sunlight over longer periods. Acrylics do not yellow (develop a yellow coating) much over time. The process is very slow as compared to oil paints. Hang the artwork in an area that has good natural ventilation. Avoid leaky walls! Extra moisture with no air circulation can cause mold growth over the backside of the painting. If you wish to hang your artwork in your bathroom, ensure it is framed well or protected with a layer of resin on top.

  • Acrylic paint is quite malleable. Paint layers do not crack unless subjected to acute cold temperatures. Acrylics can be applied in varying thickness on the painting substrate. At times very thicker paint layers (impasto like) tend to crack when rolled or bent without taking proper precautions. Otherwise, acrylic paint is quite sturdy. Do not bend or fold the artwork. Try and keep sharp objects away from it to avoid tears.

  • Acrylic paint wouldn't fall off like house paint on walls! If the substrate is prepared well before painting, acrylics provide great adhesion.

  • Acrylics do pick up dirt like any other surface. Varnishing acrylic paints reduces dirt pick up and improves clean-ability of the paintings. While buying acrylic art, do remember to ask the artist, gallery or the online store if the artwork has been varnished or protected using other acrylic mediums. Dust your artwork regularly with dry cloth to clean the dust particles. A slightly moist cloth can be used to wipe off the dust, if needed. Do not scratch the surface, slightly rub it and let it air-dry.

  • In case of mold growth on the backside of the artwork, clean it thoroughly with a cloth and put it in sun light (backside facing the sun) for approx 30 mins.

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