Care for Your Wall Art

Art is more than just a beautiful piece of work; it's an investment, a reflection of one's journey and experiences. Whether it’s a striking modern painting that resonates with contemporary style, a vintage photograph reminding you of past eras, or an elegant sculpture that stands as a testament to timeless beauty, preserving its allure and integrity is crucial. With its vibrant artistic community and diverse aesthetics, Sydney is a haven for wall art enthusiasts. If you're among the fortunate ones to have procured some remarkable wall art in Sydney or elsewhere, you'd know the importance of maintaining its pristine condition. Therefore, this guide sheds light on the nuances of caring for your invaluable treasures. A beacon for art lovers, photographers, interior designers, business owners, and accommodations, let's dive into the art of preservation!

1. Understanding the Basics: Why Care Matters?

Wall art is more than just a decorative piece; it mirrors an artist's soul and a collector’s passion. While its appeal is undeniable, environmental factors can be detrimental. Dust particles, the occasional moisture from Sydney's rains, and the ever-persistent light exposure might slowly chip away at its brilliance. Thus, regular care ensures longevity and keeps the emotional connection with the art piece intact.

2. Dusting: The Gentle Approach

The first step to art preservation is understanding its material, which dictates its care routine. The materials breathe life into the artwork, and understanding their unique characteristics is the cornerstone of effective care.

  • Canvas Paintings: These porous surfaces can accumulate dust over time. Using a soft, dry cloth or a soft brush ensures that the canvas remains unharmed while removing the dust. Ensure your touch is delicate to prevent any abrasion.
  • Photographs: A testament to moments frozen in time, photographs can be sensitive. Employ a lint-free cloth, moving in gentle circular motions, to wipe away any fingerprints or surface dirt, ensuring the memory stays as vivid as the moment itself.
  • Metal or Glass: Often used in modern art, these materials have a sheen that can be dulled by dust and smudges. A damp cloth, ensuring no excess water drips, can effectively clean the surface. Always follow up with a dry cloth to prevent any watermarks.

3. Dealing with Moisture and Humidity

Given Sydney's coastal geography, the area grapples with humidity, a silent yet potent adversary for your cherished art pieces. The fusion of salt in the air combined with moisture can accelerate the deterioration of certain art materials, causing them to lose their vibrancy prematurely.

Maintain a Stable Environment: While investing in a dehumidifier is an excellent first step, regularly checking humidity levels with a hygrometer ensures optimal conditions. A balanced environment, not too dry or humid, preserves the texture and colour of the artwork, granting it longevity in your collection.

Positioning is Key: Just as one would carefully choose a spot for a plant based on its sunlight needs, wall art, too, requires meticulous placement. Areas prone to sudden temperature changes or high moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, should be avoided. Instead, consider spaces where the air circulation is consistent and moisture relatively low, ensuring your art remains unharmed.

4. The Light Factor: Protecting from the Sun

Australia's sun, while invigorating for beachgoers, can be a bane for art collectors. Prolonged exposure doesn't just dull the colours; it can alter the very essence of the piece, robbing it of the emotion it once evoked.

UV Protection: If you've chosen to frame your artwork, opting for UV-protective glass is prudent. This specialised glass acts as a shield, deflecting harmful rays while allowing the beauty of the art to shine through unimpeded. Additionally, periodic checks on the glass's efficacy ensure it always performs at its best.

Position Wisely: While natural light enhances the ambience of a room, direct sunlight can be detrimental to art. Choose walls that are bathed in diffused light rather than direct rays. If rearranging isn't an option, consider using light-filtering curtains or blinds. These adjustments not only protect your art but also enhance the overall aesthetics of the space.

5. Keeping the Environment Clean

Beyond the immediate surface of your prized art pieces lies the broader environment, which plays an equally pivotal role in the artwork's conservation. A clean setting acts as a buffer, reducing external threats to the artwork's integrity.

Avoid Smoke: Beyond its health ramifications, smoking is an art piece's covert adversary. The chemicals and particulate matter can cling to surfaces, yellowing them and stripping them of their lustre over time. This not only affects the visual appeal but can also impact the material integrity of the artwork.

Keep Away from Vents and Fireplaces: While a roaring fireplace might create a cosy setting or vents ensuring circulation, their proximity to art can be perilous. The incessant shift from heat to cold can cause materials to contract and expand, potentially leading to cracks or warping. Position art pieces in more temperate zones of your space, ensuring their well-being.

6. Store with Care

Every piece of art has its season. When not adorning your walls, storing them in conditions that mirror a sanctuary protecting them from potential harm is crucial.

Avoid Basements or Attics: These areas, often relegated to storage, can be hotspots for fluctuating conditions. From dampness seeping in during rains to sweltering heat in summer, such environments are art's nemesis. Instead, opt for climate-controlled spaces, ensuring a stable atmosphere for your artwork.

Use Acid-Free Materials: The acids found in certain storage materials can gradually leach onto the artwork, causing discolouration and degradation. Acid-free matting and backing are indispensable for framed pieces, protecting against chemical onslaughts.

7. When in Doubt, Seek Expert Advice

Art is a realm where emotions, value, and aesthetics converge. Professional counsel is invaluable for pieces that hold significant monetary or sentimental value or those with unique or delicate materials.

Consultation: An art conservationist or expert can provide tailored advice, drawing from years of experience and knowledge. Their insights can encompass cleaning techniques, preservation methods, and even display tips, fine-tuned to your specific artwork.

Regular Check-ups: Much like any prized possession, professional periodic checks ensure the artwork remains in optimal condition. This proactive approach can nip potential issues, ensuring your art's legacy for generations.

For those living in and around Sydney, appreciating the aesthetics of your surroundings is almost second nature. The connection between our environment and our interiors is profound. It's not just about filling a space; it's about making it resonate with beauty, meaning, and emotion. This is the philosophy behind Deluxe Art in Sydney. We believe in providing exquisite pieces and empowering our community with the knowledge to cherish and preserve them. So, remember the love and care it needs next time you gaze at your cherished wall art in Sydney. And if you ever need advice or a new piece to adorn your space, remember that Deluxe Art is here for all your art-related needs.

December 12, 2023 — Donna Far Azin