Whether you have inherited a cherished family portrait or started your own collection of works on paper, photographs, acrylic, or oil paintings, or sculpture, properly caring for each piece goes a long way toward preserving it for years to come, and for future generations, says a 40+ year Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. Here are a few guidelines from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, for properly caring for your artwork:
* When hanging artwork, a general rule of thumb is to place the center of the work 60 inches from the floor. You'll need to account for the wire hanger on the back and its distance from the center of the painting when calculating this measurement. Use a picture-hanging hook that is designed for the specific weight of your artwork.
* Excessive light levels can cause works of art to darken or fade, so protect them from direct sunlight. If you can't find a dimly lit space in your house, keep drapes drawn or cover windows with a film that will lower the light intensity and screen out ultraviolet rays.
* Rotate artwork periodically. This is particularly important for very light-sensitive pieces, such as watercolors, prints, and anything on colored paper.
* Avoid hanging any artwork over a fireplace, as exposure to soot and smoke can dirty them.
* Mold can pose a problem for artwork subjected to excessive humidity. It can cause reddish brown spots known as foxing. Hang all artwork on interior walls to prevent exposure to dampness, especially if you live in an old or poorly insulated house.
* Clean frames with either a soft paintbrush or a can of compressed air. Frames that are made of aluminum or lacquered wood should be wiped only with a dry, lint-free cloth. If the frame is made of metal, you can use an all-purpose cleaner, but be sure to spray it onto the cloth first,never directly onto the frame, then wipe the frame.
* Avoid touching paintings or photographs with your bare hands. the natural oils in your skin can cause damage.
* Check the front and back of artwork several times a year so that you can remedy problems, before they become too serious, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il.