If you're planning on storing any paintings in a storage unit, you need to be sure that you treat your precious artwork differently to how you would treat your other valuables. Read on for some ideas on how to keep your artwork safe while in your self-storage unit.
Clean them well
Before you store your paintings, be sure to clean the frames and the paintwork itself with a clean, lint-free microfibre cloth to make sure you get rid of any dust or other debris that could cause damage to the paintwork. If your paintings have any metal attachments, such as hooks or nails, rub some oil on them to stop rust from forming. If you plan on storing your paintings for a long period of time, you may want to consider varnishing the wooden frame, as this will protect it for longer.
Wrap them well
Be sure your artwork is wrapped well to prevent any damage from occurring. To protect the frame, tape pieces of sturdy cardboard or polystyrene panels to the corners to keep them from chipping or cracking. To keep the painting safe, cover it in a soft, breathable blanket and secure the blanket in place with tape. Don't use plastic, such as cling wrap. to cover your art, as this is not breathable and could lead to mould forming on your painting from the inside.
Once you have your paintings covered, place them in well-fitted cardboard boxes, filling the boxes first with packing paper so that the painting doesn't have contact with the ground. Once you've placed the paintings in the boxes, add extra paper on top to ensure that the pieces are snug inside their new home. You don't want your paintings to move inside the box as this can lead to damage, so be sure to use enough packing paper to keep the paintings in place. Then, secure the boxes with packing tape. It's worth making a note of the name of the painting on the outside to help you identify it, especially if you have a lot of artwork, and be sure to mark fragile on the boxes.
Keep them cool
The most important factors when storing artwork are temperature and humidity. If there is a fluctuation in the temperature, that can lead to warping and cracks, so be sure to find a storage unit that has climate control options, preferably with a dehumidifier. To keep your paintings safe and to ensure their longevity, keep the humidity levels at around 50% and keep a temperature range of 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. As a general rule of thumb, if you feel a little on the cold side in your unit, that is a good sign for your artwork.