Storing artwork – how to do it right

Art. Something that paints the picture of what we feel. A picture of what cannot be seen but only felt. Of something that is not physically there. If you are an artist you probably have so many pieces and sketches lying around your apartment. Or maybe you are an art lover and love collecting different pieces of art. Whether you are an artist or an art enthusiast, you will eventually run out of space for all the artworks. In this case, you need to find storage or allocate space in your home. Whichever method you wish to use, you need to know about storing artwork properly. So, we’ve asked experts in artwork storage, about some tips on how to do it properly.

storing artwork is good to know if ou are an artist
If you are an artist you need to know how to store artwork

Storing artwork – how to get started?

 Picking the right location

You will need to find a dark room in which to store artwork. Too much exposure to light may damage your artwork by making it lose color. This is why our expert suggests that you should store it in your basement or attic, any place that light cannot reach your artwork.

Humidity level

Another important aspect of storing artwork is to pick a place with the right amount of humidity. You do not want your humidity levels to go higher or lower than 50%. Keeping the humidity levels at 50% will prevent your art from bending and getting damaged by fostering mold. If you cannot keep your humidity level high or low enough for your artwork, then you may want to reconsider where do you want to store it. A good idea is to get a unit in a storage Baltimore facility. They have climate controlled storage units where you will not have to worry about the humidity levels nor the…


The cool temperature and moderate humidity are just what an artwork needs to be preserved correctly. If it is too hot or too cold, your artwork may crack the paint, warp the paper, or foster mold. This is why you should avoid putting it in a room which goes through extreme temperature changes during the year. You should keep it at about 21 degrees C. Most storage facilities have climate controlled storage units. These storage units Washington DC can keep your art preserved by keeping it in a space with all the right condition you need. Ask some local galleries in Washington, they will all probably recommend a good storage facility.

How to pack artwork for storage

When you are packing artwork for storage, you need to know how to do it correctly. If you are afraid of damaging your artwork during packing, do not hesitate to hire packing services. The price you will pay compared to the damage you may cause is insignificant. If you are ready to do this by yourself, or just lack the money to hire packers, follow these tips.

metal sculpture
Metal sculptures should be polished before packing

Put on gloves before handling your artwork

Art pieces are very sensitive and should be handled with care. The first step you should take before you start packing and storing artwork is to put on gloves. Some art is sensitive to the oils in your fingertips and putting on cotton gloves or powder-free latex gloves are a great way to prevent causing any damage.

Are all the pieces dry?

You need to check if all the art pieces are dry before storing them. Some materials used for painting, such as oil, can take a long time to dry out, so you should pay extra attention to this. Doing this will prevent you from smearing the paint over and destroying the artwork.

Cleaning your artwork

You should also clean your art pieces before packing them and putting them in your Virginia storage unit. Using a microfiber cloth should be enough to clean most pieces of art. Other than that, you can use paper towels or regular rags and gently sweep the paintings to lift all the dust off. Pay attention to the edges of the painting next to the frame, because that is the place dust likes to settle in. If the painting is more delicate, you should use a very soft clean brush to take all the dust off slowly. Our expert also suggests that you should use masking tape for oil painting because of its delicate nature.

old man painting
You need to be extra careful when handling your artwork

If you have metal sculptures, the best idea is to have an oil based solution and a microfiber rag to polish the sculpture.

Using glassine

Glassine is a preservation material used by archive workers. It is used to protect old documents and it can be used for art, as well. Go to your local art supply store, or a printing store and ask if they have glassine. Take the glassine sheet and cut it twice the size of your unframed painting. Put the painting in the sheet and then gently cover it, and tape it at the bottom afterward. You can also then roll the painting and tie it with a piece of tape or rope. However, you may have trouble with straightening it after you take it out of storage. Consider the storage space you have and the packing method best for your kind of artwork.

Putting your artwork in the storage unit

After you are done packing the artwork, it is time to store it. Put all the art pieces in boxes and make sure that the boxes are neither small nor big, but perfectly sized. If you, alas, cannot find a perfectly sized box, use some sheets or pillows to fixate the art to prevent it from moving. Also, you should not put stack your artwork one on top of another. This may create pressure on the bottom ones and cause damage. The best way to go around this is to pack them vertically, one leaning onto the other, just you would put books in a bookshelf. After that, seal the box and mark it to know which art pieces are in which box.

Get Your Free Estimate

"*" indicates required fields

MM slash DD slash YYYY