Storage Solutions

How to Store Artwork Long Term, the Safe Way

person looking through stored art

The artwork you choose to decorate your home or office reflects your distinct taste and unique style. It may also hold memories that reach far beyond the image the art displays. Some pieces of artwork may remain in a family for generations, gracing walls and homes for many decades as a tangible link to times gone by.

When you need to take artwork down, you want to know it will be safe as it waits for the next time it hangs on a wall. There are a number of inaccurate opinions on the best way to store art. A few can even cause irreparable harm! Consider these tips for how to store artwork as you make your plan for keeping your art safe.

An Artwork Storage Tip to AVOID

For many, the go-to answer on how to store paintings long term is a roll of plastic wrap. The thinking goes that a thorough mummification of artwork in plastic wrap will provide a protective layer against harmful environmental factors such as dust and moisture. While this much holds true, plastic wrap is far from the best way to store art.

Plastic wrap does an excellent job of keeping moisture out of artwork, it's also great at holding moisture within the wrapped area too. Any moisture that has collected in the painting or the air next to it during wrapping becomes trapped near the sensitive surface of the art. This allows mold to flourish and destroy the artwork over time.

Are you searching for the best way to store your precious art within the NYC area? Stop and Stor has climate controlled storage, perfect for storing any type of artwork. Locate the branch nearest you by searching here.

The Best Way to Store Art

As with any item put into storage, you should clean your paintings before you put them away. Wipe down the surfaces, especially fabric and paint, to remove dust with a clean microfiber cloth. If you have recently purchased your painting, take care with the painted surfaces! Paint can take more than a year to truly dry.

You should always store your paintings framed. This protects the integrity of the work and prevents cracks or other damage to the paint. If you are still up in the air about which method performs best when it comes to storing paintings long term, experts recommend individual cardboard boxes for each picture. Should this not be possible, consider a crescent board or cardboard divider between pictures. It's important that nothing should touch the surface of the painting.

the Dos and Don'ts of storing artwork

  • Do select acid-free materials for storage solutions.
  • Don't store artwork on the ground. A simple riser or shelving will do the trick.
  • Do consider hanging your artwork on the walls of your storage room, if this is an option.
  • Don't stack paintings flat-side down. Lean them like books on a shelf instead.
  • Do take pictures of all the artwork you are putting into storage for your records. Documentation is important should tragedy strike.

If you have decided to place artwork into storage, Stop & Stor offers climate controlled storage units, perfect for your art storage. Reserve your storage space online by contacting us by email, call by 718.898.9000. Established in 1980, Stop & Stor is a family owned and operated business that has become New York’s Self Storage Leader by offering cutting-edge facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.


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