10 tips: how to care for your acrylic painting

Abstract painting by artist Claire Desjardins.

Acrylic paintings are vibrant and versatile works of art, but without proper care, they can lose their beauty and longevity over time. Whether you've purchased a masterpiece or created one yourself, it's essential to follow these best practices to ensure your acrylic paintings stay in pristine condition for years to come.

Abstract painting by Canadian artist Claire Desjardins.
  1. Avoid direct sunlight
    Acrylic paintings are sensitive to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage the pigments. Display your artwork in a well-lit room but away from windows or use UV-filtered glass to protect it from harmful rays.

  2. Control the environment
    Extreme changes in temperature and humidity can cause acrylic paintings to warp or crack. Maintain a stable environment with moderate temperature and humidity levels (around 68-75°F or 20-24°C and 40-50% humidity).

  3. Keep it clean
    Dust and dirt can accumulate on the surface of your acrylic painting over time. Gently dust the artwork with a soft, clean brush or a microfiber cloth regularly to keep it clean without causing any damage.

  4. Frame your painting
    Framing your acrylic painting not only enhances its appearance but also offers protection. Use a frame that complements the artwork, and ensure it is deep enough to prevent the glass from touching the painted surface.

  5. Handle with care
    When moving or transporting your acrylic painting, always handle it with extreme care. Avoid touching the painted surface directly, and use proper packing materials to protect the artwork.

  6. Avoid humidity and moisture
    Moisture is an acrylic painting's enemy. Avoid hanging your artwork in places prone to high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens, as it may lead to mold growth or paint damage.

  7. Choose appropriate varnish
    Applying a varnish to your acrylic painting not only adds a protective layer but also enhances the colors and sheen. Opt for a removable varnish and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.

  8. Keep away from chemicals
    Acrylic paintings are sensitive to chemicals, so keep them away from household cleaners, solvents, or aerosols. If you need to clean the painting, use a damp cloth with water only and perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area first.

  9. Rotate your art
    If you have a collection of acrylic paintings, consider rotating them every few months. This will help prevent uneven exposure to light and maintain their colors more evenly.

  10. Store with care
    If you ever need to store your acrylic painting, ensure it's in a clean, dry, and dust-free environment. Use acid-free materials, and avoid stacking paintings on top of each other to prevent potential damage.

Original abstract painting by Canadian artist, Claire Desjardins

By following these ten best practices, you can ensure that your acrylic paintings retain their brilliance and beauty, preserving the value and enjoyment of your cherished artwork for generations to come. Proper care is an investment in the longevity and appreciation of your acrylic masterpieces.

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I liked that you said that to prevent damage due to mold, you must not store your acrylic paint in the kitchen and other places prone to high humidity. My aunt is planning to shop for an acrylic painting that she can give to her husband as a surprise gift on his birthday next week. She surely wants the artwork to be protected from any possible damage, so your tips are worth sharing with her. https://agnescrowleyartist.com/acrylics-portfolio/

Shammy Peterson

Enjoyed all your tips, Light and humidity move your paintings around, don’t stack, all your information is valuable. Thank You


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