Be it, Claude Monet or Vincent Van Gogh, a majority of the legendary painters use oil paint to create their masterpieces. But, with time, preserving these oil paintings from fading or discoloration can get challenging.
That’s why, most of the galleries, museums, and exhibition halls keep such masterpieces in special climate-controlled display rooms to preserve them well. Plus, they also employ well-trained staff to monitor these oil paintings, to prolong its overall life.
While it’s not possible to create such a well-preserved display room or get professional help at your home, are there any convenient ways you can preserve oil paintings at your home? Well, yes. Let us guide you through the process of cherishing and protecting that much-loved oil painting without hassle.
Can You Place Your Oil Painting Outdoors?
Honestly, no! Sunlight is probably one of the worst enemies of paintings be it oil or watercolor.
Any professional art hanging service will tell you that exposure to direct sunlight is powerful enough to discolour and even fade any artwork over time. Now, you may wonder that your artwork is saved because you have a glass frame to protect it. Well, let us break it to you, glass frames are only effective against scratches and dust, but not against sunlight! Other forms of cheap materials like ‘Styrene’ are also ineffective and don’t protect it from the harmful UV rays. What’s the Reason behind the Discoloration of Oil Paintings?
Before we divulge, understanding the sheer difference in how different mediums react with sunlight, can make all the difference.Can you place your oil painting outdoors? However, discoloration and fading still prevail in oil paintings. Let’s take a quick look at the causes.
Direct Exposure to Heat
Continued exposure to heat can lead to deterioration and fading of oil paintings at the surface. And such instances occur when the oil painting has either got direct exposure to sunlight or getting exposed to heat from sources like a fireplace or a kitchen.
Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight
The mighty sunlight also includes the UV rays that serve a great threat to the oil painting over time. So, if you are thinking of placing your favorite paintings outside, chuck that idea, right now! Unfiltered sunlight not only leads to discoloration but can also damage the intricacies in your favorite painting.
Filtered Sunlight is a Big Threat too
While you might think that keeping your oil paintings indoors will save it from any sort of damage, that’s just half-baked truth. Filtered sunlight if not equally but is harmful too. Besides, it can also darken the varnish layer.
Color Pigments Matter
Some colors or pigments tend to fade much easier than others. Why so? Well, some color pigments with more light-fastness are prone to fading easily than the paintings that are made with archival quality.
How to prevent the Fading of Oil Paintings?
Keep the Painting Away from Extremity
To avoid adverse effects on your painting, try to keep it away from extreme conditions like heat, humidity, and dryness. And other direct heat appliances and areas like radiators, air conditioners, heating vents, and fireplaces. Also, try to avoid unvented bathrooms and kitchens to prolong the life of your painting.
Let Your Artwork Breathe
Your painting needs to breathe too. Hanging it in an open space with great airflow can make all the difference to its life. On the contrary, if you keep the painting in a damp or dark area, it can lead to moisture buildup that eventually leads to mold formation and rotting.
Dust it away
Regular cleaning and dusting your painting with a fine brush or a soft feathered duster would help your favorite oil painting to survive another generation (pun intended!). And if left unattended for a long period, the dust particles might just stick to the surface of the oil painting and you might have to call for professional help.
Bonus Tips: To get the best results while cleaning your favorite oil painting, gently dab lightly moistened cotton, dipped in lukewarm water on the paint surface.
If you are worried that the painting might get exposed to direct sunlight, it’s probably best to hang it on a wall that is least exposed to the light. However, if you reside in a house with tons of sunlight that gushes through the cracks, it is best to draw shades and blinds during the afternoons.
Bonus Tips: Rotating the placement of your artworks periodically, can also do wonders.
A Single Coat of Varnish
While all the above-recommended tips work just fine, a single coat of varnish can just be a final thing to do. A final coat of varnish offers a projective shielding from light and dirt and in turn, helps the oil painting to survive longer. Plus, it also adds a uniform texture by neutralizing the effects of matte and glossy areas in the painting.
To Sum Up
This detailed guide would come to a great help if you are short of ideas on how to preserve and cherish your favorite oil painting masterpiece. But, if you wish to put an end to the hassle that oil painting brings with itself, get your hands on absolute museum quality reproduced paintings from 1st-art-gallery.com.