Storing Your Artwork

Someone who doesn’t know a great deal about artwork might pack up a painting with a simple sheet of newsprint and call it a day. Storing a painting requires specific conditions to ensure that your paint, canvas, and frame remains in great condition. While it’s tempting to lean a painting against a storage unit wall, there are safer ways to store artwork. Our helpful tips will guide you for storing your paintings without damaging them.


  • Packing To prep your paintings for storage, you’ll need to wrap them tightly in protective materials. For framed paintings, use a storage blanket or quality bubble wrap, and seal them tightly using packing tape. Pad the front and back of your framed paintings with pieces of sturdy cardboard, and tape them together with dense packing material. Make sure that you fill any space with bubble pack to avoid movement while in transit, then seal the entire box shut with packing tape. Avoid peanuts or any packing material that can get smashed or settle over time.
  • Minimize contact. The first step to conserving oil paintings and other artwork during transportation or storage is to minimize human contact. An easy way to accomplish this is to create a barrier between you and the painting during the packing process.
  • Wrap in plastic. Use plastic to wrap the painting to keep it clean and protect the finish.
  • Put in a appropriate size box. Choose appropriately- sized boxes. Use Styrofoam and place painting into cardboard box.

Unframed Artwork

While rolling up canvas paintings and storing them is a much easier and cheaper option, we don’t recommend it. Sometimes, if the artwork is left rolled up for too long, it might develop permanent crease and cracks in the paint. The best way to pack up an unframed artwork or a canvas is to wrap it up in glassine, an air and water-resistant material and securely place it in between two sheets (slightly bigger than the artwork) of another sturdy material like foam or cardboard. As with framed artworks, you can create an added layer of protection by placing the artwork in a plastic bag and tying it securely prior to packing it away in a sturdy, appropriately sized box.

Consider these tips:

Never store artwork someplace dry or damp. Do not store paintings in a basement or attic. Choose someplace with consistent temperature and moderate humidity, like a climate controlled storage unit. Don’t store paintings on top of each other. Frames and canvases can absorb dampness from concrete and other materials and can get distorted in the frame if there is too much weight on top of them.

  • Keep paintings away from fluctuating temperatures.
  • Keep a check on your artwork.
  • Stay away from the sun. Direct sunlight can fade colors. Keep paintings covered with an acid-free cloth or leave the artwork in its travel packaging.

Keep paintings safe inside a storage unit. If you plan to keep your art in storage for an extended period, consider working with professionals. Lincoln Self Storage can provide humidity and temperature controlled storage, clean, secure units and the peace of mind you don’t necessarily get when you keep paintings in the attic.

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