How to Store Canvas Paintings

Canvas paintings are ubiquitous in the world of fine art. Canvas has long been a popular palette and base for artists using oil paints or acrylic mediums. Therefore, most of the pieces of art owned by collectors are created on canvas.

Canvas is a durable material, but it still needs to be stored properly to protect your artwork.

Whenever you’re storing paintings, whether they were created on canvas or not, it’s essential to take precautions. This guide to keeping canvas paintings safe will show you how to store your artworks correctly so they stay in perfect condition.


How to Store Canvas Paintings

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Canvas can be prone to fading, so any artwork made on canvas should be stored away from the sunlight. Ideally, a dark room without windows is preferable. The UV rays from the sun can damage a canvas. 

Sunlight can break down the strength of the canvas and cause your paintings to fade. Over time, excessive sun exposure can make your artwork fragile and affect the vibrancy of the paint colors. It would be best to consider sunlight both when storing paintings and when displaying them in your home.



How to Store Canvas Paintings at Home

When storing canvas paintings at home, you should choose your location carefully. Home storage spaces like the attic or basement are often hot, dirty, humid, or otherwise unsuitable for storing canvas artwork. 

Canvas paintings should always be kept in a dry area within your home. Basements, in particular, should be avoided when storing paintings at home as they can be prone to flooding in many countries. 

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How to Store Canvas Prints

When storing canvas prints at home or in storage, the temperature is critical. The canvas should always be kept well away from a light source and in a dry climate-controlled room. 

Canvas prints should also be stored in an upright position. Keeping canvas paintings upright ensures they don’t get marks or dents from being stacked under any heavy objects. Stacking upright also prevents the canvas from touching too much of the floor, where it could get damp, wet, or dirty. You should take these precautions even if you’re only storing unused paint canvases


How to Store Unframed Canvas Paintings

To store unframed canvas paintings, you should use silicone release paper and cover the front of the painting. You can then wrap the back of the painting securely. After wrapping, use a piece of hardboard to protect the entire painting.


How to Store Large Canvas Paintings 

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Large canvas paintings, especially those in frames, are more likely to fall or be damaged during a move. You should wrap large paintings using the same process as smaller paintings. However, you should also add extra layers of wrapping, such as moving blankets. A larger delicate frame may also need a layer of bubble wrap, but avoid using bubble wrap over an entire picture as it can become humid.


How to Store Unstretched Canvas Paintings

You have more storage options when it comes to storing unstretched canvas paintings. An unstretched canvas can be rolled, and if you’re shipping or moving your art collection, this option may be appealing. It is usually considerably cheaper to roll up the canvas for packaging than to send a canvas flat. In general, it is safe to roll a finished canvas painting and store it in a packing tube. However, you should take some precautions into account first.

  • A painting must be completely dry before rolling.
  • An unstretched canvas painting should not be too tightly rolled.
  • You should take extra care when you remove the canvas off its stretchers.
  • Do not store rolled paintings long-term.
  • Unroll the canvas painting at room temperature to prevent cracking.


How to Store Acrylic Paintings

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Canvas paintings which use acrylic paint are typically more resilient in the sunlight than oil paintings. However, they should still be stored carefully, using the same process as you would use to store an oil painting.


How to Store Acrylic Paintings on Canvas

Artists can use a coating such as Kamar varnish on their acrylic paintings, which can help protect them. You should also ensure acrylic paintings are never stored face to face with one another – they may stick together and become damaged. 


How to Preserve Canvas Painting

Paintings on canvas can be more easily damaged if the canvas is not entirely covered. This painting style is more common with modern and contemporary artworks because more traditional painting styles built up several layers of paint on the canvas. 

An exposed canvas is more prone to damage, while paint or glaze is more resilient. If there is exposed canvas on your painting, then it may be susceptible to fading in the sunlight. Sunlight can cause significant damage to the canvas material but not the paints.


Storing & Collecting Canvas Paintings

By taking careful preventative measures, you should be able to keep your canvas paintings in good condition for a lifetime. You can buy original paintings online. Eden Gallery online has a wide selection of original canvas paintings for sale by many fine artists.




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