Artwork Hanging & Aftercare
Hanging & Caring for Your Artwork
To hang artwok on the wall might sound easy, but there are several things you need to think about before you do that. This is what you need to think about:
- Position your artwork in relation to accidental damage. Don’t hang your artwork close to furniture or behind doors.
- Don’t hang your portrait over heat or moisture places like open fires, radiators or in bathrooms.
- Think about direct lightening from outside environment when you hang your artwork on a wall. No constant direct light shod be exposed to the painting.
- Think about hanging your artwork in a room that doesn’t build up dirt and dust quickly.
When placing fitments to the back of the frame you should be thinking about doing that to the sides and not on the top. Carefully place the screws to the thickest part of the frame and then place a wire (double) to the fitments, the wire should make a bow. Never do this to the wood if it’s an oil painting.
Position on The Wall
Finally the position how you place the frame is important to look nice on the wall.
Many people do the mistake by placing their artworks to high, or hanging them in too many different levels. The placement should be appealing and comfortable to the eye. The position is also determined depending on size and dimension.
When you finally decided where to hang your artwork, you might take help from someone else to hold up the painting so you can stand back and see how it looks.
Your eyes should look straight to the middle of the artwork. You might take help of a ruler if you have other paintings on the same wall and you want to position the artwork to the same level or the level you prefer.
Remember to mark the wall (with a pencil) from position of the wire bow on the back at the same time as you keep in mind where the final position of the frame should be.
Measure the distance from the wire bow to the upper edge of the frame. Choose a steady and big enough hook compared to size of the painting. Hammer or drill a hole where you’ve made the pencil mark.
Finally hang the framed artwork and adjust it to be straight on the wall. There is nothing uglier then an imbalanced painting on the wall, even if it’s only wrong for one cm.
When thinking about location where to hang your oil painting, try not to exposure it to constant direct sunlight, because it will surely fade out some of the colours after time. Yet the painting looks better in darker areas in a room with proper artificial lightening.
Extreme Heat & Open Fires
Even if it might be tempting to hang a painting over a fireplace it wouldn’t be good for the painting, also keep your painting away from hot radiators! Remember to never expose the oil painting to extreme heat, extreme cold or extreme amount of water.
Damages occur due to poor environmental conditions and materials in a painting respond by contracting and expanding. The paint will crack and wood may spit because the structure becomes stressed.
Handling with Artwork
Think about the stretched canvas when you must lean the painting somewhere. The surface is very delicate and can not be leaned against any pointed objects. That will leave a buckle to the canvas and it’s very hard to stretch out again properly, if even possible at all.
Instead think about leaning the painting to the stretcher bars (wood) to prevent any damage.
Canvas & Wood Damage
If you care for the oil painting it will probably never happen.
But if something bad would happen anyway, like a crack, hole in the stretched canvas or warps and splits in the wood. Don’t try to repair the damage your self, bring the painting to a professional conservator to fix the damage properly.
It probably won’t cost a lot and it’s sure worth it.
Transport & Storage
If you are moving or if you must transport your oil painting for another reason, you have to transport the painting with proper way of packing. Try to create a flat cardboard box and wrap around two layers of bubble wrap or Styrofoam around the painting before packing it to the box you created, this way you will prevent any possible damages.
Make sure to measure the painting with the bubblewrap already around it to prevent creating the box too small. Even though it`s more expensive, you can pack your artwork the way I do.
First wrap around a plastic conservation grade protection layer to protect the artwork against any scratches or alike. Add one thick cardboard or hardboard layer to each side of the artwork, then wrap many layers of bubble wrap around the artwork and cardboards.
After that has been done, pack it with thick waterproof covering. This way of packing takes less time then creating a cardboard box, but it`s very effective and it really helps to prevent any damage.
Read more and see images of how I pack my pet portraits and portrait paintings in the art packaging section. Don’t forget to unpack the painting as soon as possible to avoid moisture build-up through time, because that also might damage your painting.