If you are an individual who has many oil paintings that need to be stored for a long period of time, then you likely do not want your artwork becoming damaged during the storage process. Artwork can be stored safely for long periods of time, as long as you do it properly. If you want to place your artwork in a self storage space, then keep reading to learn about a few tips that can help you.

Go With A Climate Controlled Space

Oil paintings that are worth something to you either monetarily or emotionally should be kept in a space with a consistent environment. An inconsistent environment can do several different things. If temperatures fluctuate wildly, then the painting will expand and contract. Not only will this happen to the frame, but the materials that make up the painting will flex as well. Since oil paint becomes quite hard as it dries, the expanding and contracting process will cause the paint to crack and cup. Cupping makes the paint appear raised around circular areas of damage. The outside of the damage will bow inward like a cup. This type of damage is likely to turn into flaking or chipping paint.

Humidity is also an issue when it comes to oil paintings. While oil paint will resist deterioration when it comes into contact with water, the moisture can cause wooden stretcher bars to warp. This can cause the painting to bow or bend as the wood absorbs and releases water under different humidity conditions.

If you want to keep your paintings in great shape, then make sure to rent a self storage space with a humidity level that stays between 40% and 55%. An ideal temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter, the temperature can be a bit lower than it is in the summer, but the temperature should remain as consistent as possible. 

Wrap Your Paintings

If you have oil paintings, then you will need to protect them from dust. It can take an oil painting months to fully dry, and it can take a considerable amount of time for the drying process to complete if the paint is layered or thick. If a painting is allowed to dry, it will still take years for the material to fully cure. Curing is a process where the oil paint releases water over an extended period of time. Since it can take decades for the curing process to complete, many paintings feel slightly cool or tacky to the touch, even if they are several years old. Unfortunately, this surface can collect dust quite easily. If dust collects, it is not always easy to remove, but it can cause an oil painting to appear hazy and yellow. 

If you want your oil paintings to remain crisp and true to their original colors, then make sure to wrap them in a protective material. Since an oil painting will continue to cure during the storage period, you will need to choose a breathable material for wrapping that allows air to circulate around the painting. You will also need to protect the painting from dust, so a sheet with a tight weave will work well. Purchase a plain sheet so dyes from the fabric cannot release into the painting. For the best protection, look for sheets with a thread count between about 800 and 1,000. This will indicate that the weave is a tight one. Also, a smooth sheet made from long-staple fibers will work well so that uneven threads do not sit directly against the painting and possibly stick to it. 

For more information and storing options, talk with facilities in your area, such as 1st Stop Storage.