Blog / 2019 / How to Take Care of an Acrylic Painting

June 24, 2019

The three main things to consider in caring for an artwork that I have created for you:

  1. When placing the painting in your home, avoid direct sunlight.
  2. I generally use lightfast pigments when I paint, but direct sun on a painting day after day can be damaging.

  3. Dust the artwork occasionally.
  4. A feather duster is best, but a clean cloth will do just as well. Basically, you want a dusting tool that isn’t going to be harsh on the surface or leave fibers attached to the painting’s texture.

  5. Don’t touch the surface with your fingers a lot.
  6. Even if your hands are clean, there are oils that may, over time, have an effect on the painting. You don’t need to wear gloves every time you handle the painting. Just make sure the little hands of the little people in your life aren’t petting the painting on a daily basis!

painted portrait of a couple, set in a simple wooden box
Gwenn Seemel
Claire and Dénes
2009
acrylic on panel framed in a poplar box
9 x 18 x 3 inches
If the painting is on a hard surface, like a wood panel:

It can be scratched fairly easily. The paint is essentially a layer of plastic on top of the hard surface and, like any plastic, it can be scraped or scuffed. Be careful not to place the painting where it can easily be banged by another hard object.

painted portrait of a lovely woman
detail image of Claire
If the painting is on a piece of stretched material, like canvas:

The painting can be scratched, but it can also be dented or even ripped. Depending on how deep the dent is, the damage may actually “heal itself”—paintings on fabric are actually pretty flexible! If it’s not something that gets better within a day after you remove the thing that was denting the surface of the painting, please contact me.

painted portrait of a man
detail image of Dénes
If something liquid gets spilled on the painting:

The best way to remove the spill is a little bit of water with cloth—use distilled or bottled water if your tap water is hard. Depending on the kind of spill, the amount of spill, and the painting itself, you might be able to handle this on your own. Just send me a photo and description and I’ll determine if you can do it.

I am always happy to be contacted about my paintings, even if there is damage.

I get that objects sometimes have accidents and I prefer that my art is in a place where it might be dented or spilled on, because that means my art isn’t locked away somewhere, safe but also forgotten. It means that it’s surrounded by everyday life, loved and essential!

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