Whether you’re a professional collector or an enthusiastic art-lover, storing your pieces properly is vital when it comes to protecting them from preventable damage. Climate-controlled storage units are an excellent option for storing paintings, sculptures, fine fabrics, antiques, and other valuables, but there are several important steps to take to prepare your valuables first. Here’s what you should know about storing artworks.
How to Prepare Artwork for Storage
1. Clean It
Before storing an artwork, first make sure its surface is free of dust, dirt, grease, and other contaminants which can cause it to decay or suffer passive damage. You can use a fresh microfiber cloth to dust a painting or sculpture prior to storage.
Avoid cleaning painted surfaces or metal, glass, or wood with household cleaning products, as these may be corrosive. You should also dust and polish the frame and any hardware. It may be necessary to have particularly fragile pieces cleaned by a professional for extra assurance.
2. Wrap It
Perhaps the most common source of damage to artworks in storage is minor impacts and accidental scrapes. You can protect framed valuables against this risk by wrapping the corners of frames in sturdy cardboard protectors and by wrapping them in clean fabric.
Plastic materials like bubble wrap can be useful for protecting artworks, but since they’re not breathable, they could trap moisture against surfaces, leading to accidental water damage and mold and mildew growth. However, bubble wrap can be used to protect the feet of precious furniture or to wrap moisture-resistant materials such as glass, sealed stone, and corrosion-resistant metals such as stainless steel, gold, and silver.
3. Place It Carefully
Finally, choose a spot in your storage unit where your artwork will be out of the way. Unframed fabrics, paintings, and prints can be stored rolled up, while framed pieces should be laid flat between sheets of acid-free archival paper for long periods. Always store art off of the floor, whether on a sturdy table or on a shelving unit, to protect it from moisture and pests.
If you’re looking for a place to store your art collection and other valuables, turn to Route 88 Self Storage in Bethel Park, PA. They offer a selection of clean, secure, climate-controlled units protected by on-site staff, security lighting, and 24-hour access for customers. They’ll match prices with their competitors within a five-mile radius, and they offer a 50% referral discount and the third month of rental free to new customers. Call (412) 854-8888 to make a reservation, and visit them online to learn more about their rates.