How to Wash Your Artwork

How to Wsh your Artwork


Artwork Washing Instructions

How to Wash your Artwork

Advice on caring for and looking after your treasured paintings and artwork.

Occasionally my mind goes a little “off piste” and I have ideas, which I really should ignore. The “Cleaning tag” is one that made it to the sketch book.

Cleaning tags

Looking back I love the perfect madness that in a world, where it is essential to offer care and washing advice for everything, a “cleaning tag” for paintings makes sense. Personally I advise washing in fairy tears and drying with a unicorns tail.

I have used the notations in some of my sketchpads and notebooks and I admit it is great to look back on the weather and emotional state when I was working. Maybe it can even explain the reasoning behind the pictures and how they came to be.

Care for your paintings

However, what started out as a humours post turned more serious when in discussions with a fellow artist we talked over fading and damage to paintings further down the line. So in retrospect having how to care for your painting instruction is not such a mad notion after all.

If I was to redo my “Washing instructions” label I would include the following advice

  • Check on hanging mounts, to make sure they are not frayed or loose.
  • Periodically inspect the frame and the tension of the canvas, making sure no keys have fallen out and so loosen the stretcher.
  •  Do not hang in bright sunlight as this can cause the painting to fade.
  • Do not hang the painting above a fireplace or radiator as the heat and soot can cause damage.
  • Never store paintings in damp or humid environments such as lofts, attics or basements.
  • Lighting with incandescent is a good idea, halogen or fluorescent bulbs can fade paintings.
  • It is advisable to dust paintings with a natural brush or soft cloth but not if there is any sign of flaking paint.

This should ensure a life time of enjoyment and avoid any unnecessary damage occurring to your painting. Remember if in doubt always consult a professional conservator.

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