How to Store Artwork

Did you know that your artwork’s value is practically zero unless you know how to store it correctly? Yes, whether you do art for a hobby or profession, unless you can store your artworks and extend their durability, they won’t get their value.

Also, in order to shine in the art career, only making good artwork is not enough. Rather, you’ll need to learn to provide the right environment for your artworks where they are fully safe from physical damage.

For instance, maintaining temperature, humidity levels, and cleanliness are a few of the core activities you’ll have to ensure for effectively storing your artwork.

But, what if you’ve got no clue how to store artwork? Well, luckily for you, we have laid down all the required instructions right over here. All you have to do is go ahead and read this discussion till the very end. So, let’s get started!

Some Effective Art Storage Types

artwork hanging on wall

You can store your artwork by encasing them in many types of storage options. That’s why we will utilize storage ideas that are using by world-class museums and art warehouses.

So, let’s see some creative storage ideas.

1. Art Shelves (Steel-reinforced)

Shelves can see in libraries, museums, and other art houses around the world. A shelf is housing that features many compartments, and it has the facility to store multiple pieces of artwork.

Also, you can customize and increase the number of compartments on your shelf by adding steel rods. Compartmentalizing your storage shelf doesn’t only make it easier to use. Rather, it also helps you to utilize the storage with maximum efficiency.

A simple perk of using shelves with multiple compartments is that, on a shelf, your artworks are not keep close to each other. As a result, even if one artwork is damaged by mold or bacteria, the others are not.

Now, on most shelves, there is an option to keep the backside open as well. Therefore, you can easily facilitate natural airflow throughout your artwork. That’s why a shelf can make sure that artworks don’t accumulate mold and dampness.

On the flip side, even if you store your artwork on a caged and closed shelf, it can also protect your artwork from direct sunlight or air dust. So, no matter which type of shelves you pick (open or close), you are sure to get good results.

2. Art Drawers (Flat Style Cabinets)

If you have delicate and unframed artworks (such as maps, oil-painted graphics, documents, etc.), you can store them in flat-style art drawers. The art drawers make fine storage for artworks that keep the art pieces safe from getting damaged due to crease or fold.

The best aspect of this type of storage is that, with art drawers, you can have the most effective space utilization. Since art drawers are flat and horizontal in construction, they don’t take up much vertical space. Therefore,  art drawer storages are not that high.

So, because art drawers are easy to get a hold of, you can just use your hand to naturally get access to your needed artwork whenever you need to open up a particular piece of art (without the use of any stools).

Also, another advantage of using drawers is that you can take advantage of locked drawers to secure your artworks from getting accessed by third parties fully. Or, you can just have optional lockers in all the drawers. That way, you can lock any drawer according to your will.

Furthermore, in order to facilitate easier access, you can install pull handles on art drawers as well. You can open or close the drawer with minimal effort using pull handles.

Lastly, the best feature of artwork drawers is that they keep the artwork completely safe from mold and bacteria. Also, because there is no airflow inside these drawers, the artworks are completely safe from dust and moisture as well.

3. Wire Shelves (Perfect Cart For Framed Arts)

As temporary artwork storage, wire shelves are perfect for framed artwork. Also, if you are transporting your artworks from one storage facility to another, you can use adjustable wire shelf carts to shift your artworks safely.

Adjustable wire shelves are shelf-like storage facilities that are made of chrome wires. And the most notable feature of these carts is that they provide 100% airflow throughout your artwork.

In addition to that, these carts facilitate your artworks to be stored in an upright and stable position. As a result, if you use these carts to transport your artworks, they will stay protected from physical damage.

But, mind you, this type of storage facility is not the best option as permanent storage for artworks.

4. Pull Out Panels (Vertical Artwork Storage Rack)

If you have framed art that needs to be stored in a vertical position, you should take advantage of pull-out panels. These are drawer-like panels that can be slid open by a pull handle.

This type of storage facility maximizes storage utilization and makes the artworks easy to find and navigate through. How? It’s because, with pull-out panels, you can examine a particular art piece by pulling it outside while leaving the other art pieces untouched.

As a result, this type of storage facility is very compact in construction. That, in turn, makes them take up very little space.

4. Open Racks For Large Items

If you have large artworks and cannot be stored in drawers, you can take advantage of large-sized open racks. Steel-made storage racks are easy to manufacture and cheaper to buy.

Also, you can buy open racks with adjustable shelves as well. As a result, bulk size open racks can serve as a flexible storage option as well.

And the best thing about using open racks is that you can put your art items in or take them out without any hassle. How? Since the racks are open from every side, you will not have to be excessively careful while handling your artwork.

This, in turn, will save you a lot of time while you transport or handle your artwork.

Things You’ll Need To Store Your Artworks

flower artwork on wall

In order to effectively create safe storage to store your precious artworks, you will need to have a few tools and items at your disposal. Once you have all the right tools and apparatuses, you can go ahead and utilize these (to maintain an adequate storage facility for your artworks):

1. A Dark Room

If you aim to store your artworks for a long period, you need to consider sunlight an enemy. Mind you, sunlight is the most dangerous threat to your artworks and paintings. That’s why picking a dark room is the first step for creating artwork storage.

2. An Air Conditioner

Temperature contributes the most to creating the right ambiance for your artwork. According to artwork experts, any type of painting or artwork is best stored at 21° c (70° f) temperature.

Now, in order to ensure that your artwork storage will have this particular temperature, you need to buy an air conditioner.

3. An Effective Humidifier

Temperature and humidity also play a major role in creating a suited ambiance in your artwork storage.

To sustain long life, the most optimum humidity to store artwork is at 50% level. That’s why you’ll need to buy a humidifier as well (to maintain optimum humidity).

4. Hand Gloves

You need to understand that artworks such as paintings or artifacts can be damaged by human sweat or bacteria.

And it is also well known that human hands carry a lot of bacteria and sweat. That’s why you will need to buy hand gloves in order to handle and manipulate the artworks in your art gallery.

5. Paintbrush

If there is a chance of dust accumulation on your artworks, you will need to purchase paint brushes to clean the dust off.

6. Acid-free Tissue

Tissues are great materials for wrapping and storing art prints. That’s why you will need to have acid-free tissues in your artwork storage. Now, some people use plastic wraps to store paintings and other artworks. But, we do not recommend it (because it involves the risk of sealing in humidity).

7. Glassine

Glassine is a special type of paper that has water and air-resistant properties. These are also excellent wrappers for any type of artwork and artifacts.

8. Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are a common yet effective storage option. Whenever you’re transporting some artworks from one place to another, you’ll need to use cardboard boxes as containers to transfer the artworks securely.

How To Store Artworks

abstract artwork on wall

As we have mentioned above, effectively storing your artworks is equally important as creating the art. But, intelligently storing the artworks without causing damage takes a person to know the right knowledge and know-how.

That’s why, for your convenience, we have decided to shed some light on how you can proficiently store different sizes of artworks:

Storing Small Art Pieces:

1. Elimination Of Awkward Spaces:

The best place to store your small arts is your art wall. Therefore, when hanging your framed art pieces on your wall, you need to be careful that there is no awkward space in between the artworks.

2. Utilizing Shelves:

Shelves are one of the most effective objects to store and showcase small artworks. Now, what if you don’t have a dedicated shelf for your artwork? Well, you can just use a bookshelf instead.

3. Using Tables:

If you don’t have any other storage facility to store the small pieces of artwork you have, you can just use a plain table. To take advantage of a table as your art storage, just place a table against a wall and keep your artworks leaning against the wall.

Storing Regular-Sized Art Pieces:

1. Preparation Of Medium Sized Shelves:

If you have paintings and artworks that are larger than 2 ft in length, you need dedicated shelves to store these artworks. Since medium and regular-sized artworks can have various dimensions, you’ll need to take measurements of all of your artworks before preparing a shelf to store them.

Once you have taken the measurements of your artworks, you will have to make a shelf that has twice the housing space to store your artworks (just to be on the safe side). And after your shelf is prepared to showcase your artworks, you can store different types of artworks on different shelf sections.

2. Taking Advantage Of Racks:

If you have a large space in your artwork hall room, you can set up a rack and store your regular-sized artworks in there. Open racks are excellent options for storing medium-sized artifacts. Hence, if you install open racks, storing small to medium-sized artworks will not be a problem for you.

3. Using The Wall:

A wall can be a great option to showcase or store your artwork (if you know how to utilize it). Because most walls are rectangular in shape, placing both small and medium-sized artworks on a wall is easier.

First off, you need to get your paintings framed and ready to be hung on the wall. Then, you can put all of your medium-sized artworks on the border side of the walls.

After that, you can put in some small size artworks to fill the awkward space in between the medium-sized artworks. Then, finally, you can again fill up the middle space of your wall with medium-sized artworks.

As you can see, if you utilize the whole wall space by placing both small and medium-sized artworks, your boring wall can be turned into a gorgeous gallery of pictures and paintings.

Storing Large Size Artworks:

1. Selecting A Dedicated Dark Room:

The most worrisome thing about large-sized artworks is that they accumulate a lot of light. So, if the interior of your art room somehow gets exposed to direct sunlight, you run the risk of ruining your large artworks.

That’s why we recommend that you keep your large paintings/artworks in a separate room that is fully remote from sunlight (direct or indirect).

2. Utilizing Large Frames:

Because large-sized paintings are inconvenient to handle and transport (due to their size), they need to be protected with large frames. This is why we always recommend that you equip large artifacts and paintings with large frames.

Providing large frames will protect your paintings/artworks from physical damage and make it easier to transport these artworks.

3. Taking Advantage Of The Floor:

If you can maintain a clean floor in your artwork storage, keeping large pieces of artwork on the floor is fully okay. Due to the size, large pieces of artwork tend to be a bit difficult to store in racks or drawers. That’s why one of the most obvious yet effective solutions is to use your floor.

But, there is one catch. Keeping your artworks on the floor means that your artworks are prone to many additional dangers. For example, bugs or mice can accidentally damage your paintings or artworks.

So, if you are indeed utilizing your floor, make sure to maintain strict monitoring of your artwork.

Painting Storage Tips And Tricks

This particular subsection will tell you a few tips and tricks on storing your paintings. If you follow and take advantage of these tips, we believe that you’ll be able to store your paintings like a pro.

1. When you store your painting in your gallery or art storage, the organization of your artworks can be a bit messy. As a result, when you are trying to find a particular painting, it can get a bit difficult to find it quickly.

That’s why we recommend that you use proper labeling when you are storing your paintings.

2. Since paintings are extra sensitive to the ambiance of your art storage, be sure to keep your humidity level around 50%. Also, try to make sure that your temperature level is around 70 °F.

3. When storing your paintings, make sure that one piece of painting is separate from another. This way, even if one piece of your painting gets affected by mold or bacteria, the other will still be fully safe.

4. In the time when you are not showcasing your paintings, make sure that your paintings are protected with proper coverings. This way, they will stay free of dust or dirt accumulation.

5. Remember to change the location of your paintings once every month or so. It’s because if there is any moisture build-up in your paintings, temporarily changing its location can help reduce the humidity build-up.

6. You can also utilize storage boxes for paintings as well. These are perfect for transporting the paintings from one place to another.

7. Lastly, ensure that your paintings are away from direct sunlight at any cost.

Final Words

Well, the bottom line is that if you want to store your artworks to ensure their long-term durability, you need to maintain an optimum ambiance for your artworks. To do that, you will need to strictly monitor and keep the temperature, light amount, and humidity at optimum levels.

In addition to that, you will also need to invest in the storage facility. In short, you might have to buy additional storage furniture such as racks, push drawers, transportation carts, etc.

Lastly, we recommend that you consult professionals to get additional storage ideas for your artwork. And, we bid you the best of luck with your artwork.

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About Tom

Tom is a blogger and artist who also loves technology. He spends his days blogging about the latest developments in the world of art, and he enjoys sharing his thoughts with readers on what it means to be an artist today. Tom has always been interested in technology - but it wasn't until he was 13 years old that he discovered how much fun making websites could be! Tom is a fun-loving, adventure seeking creative type. He enjoys reviewing art products and technology gadgets on his blog and has been doing so for over 5 years now! He spends most of his time in the studio, at the beach, or out exploring new places.

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