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How to Prepare Artwork for Storage

Here are some storage techniques to ensure your paintings and other prized art possessions are safely stored.

  • Clean it beforehand Before you pack up your artwork, make sure it’s clean. Using a microfiber cloth or a soft makeup brush, gently remove any dust or dirt from your paintings. Use slow, careful strokes in one direction and don’t apply pressure to the surface. Keep in mind that oil from your fingers can leave marks on paintings. Therefore, it’s best to wear powder-free latex gloves when preparing your art for storage.

  • Wrap it properly Wrap your artwork in blankets, bubble wrap or felt. You can also use plastic wrap such as glassine. After wrapping them, place each piece in a plastic bag and tie the bag shut. Don’t roll up unframed paintings. Instead, place each canvas between two pieces of plywood, acid-free cardboard or foam. Next, use tape to hold the protective layers in place. Put the wrapped artwork in a plastic bag and tie it shut.

  • Store it safely Don’t stack artworks on top of each other. If you don’t have a choice, at least place padding between each piece. If you have several paintings that need to be stored, consider using a painting rack. This allows each piece to stand on its side and keeps them separated from one another. Don’t place paintings on the ground. Moisture from concrete floors can get absorbed into wood and canvas. Moreover, keeping your pieces off the ground will protect them from minor flooding and pests.

  • Control the environment Temperature and humidity are important factors when it comes to storing art. Choose a place with a consistent temperature of 21° C and a humidity level of about 50 per cent. Remember that fluctuations in temperature or humidity can cause wood and canvas to warp, and high humidity levels will invite mould and mildew. Moreover, keep your art in a dark place away from sunlight, as this can fade colours and cause yellowing. If you don’t have enough space or the right conditions to safely store artwork, consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit.


Climate-controlled Storage in the GTA

U-Need Storage offers climate-controlled storage units for your artwork, electronics and wood furniture. Choose the right size unit to suit your needs at one of our locations in Dundas, Freelton, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga or Oakville. Contact us today to learn more about our storage services.


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