Light Damage

Have you ever noticed that when moving a piece of furniture or something off the wall, the paint behind it darker? That’s because of light damage. Sunshine can and will make paintings, photos and other artwork pale. Even the sun reflecting off the floor will fade color. The best way to avoid fading due to light damage is to hang your artwork in places that do not have direct, or even reflected sunlight.

Window treatments may help prevent light damage, because oftentimes sunlight only comes in through a window at particular times of the day. Curtains and drapes are very useful for this purpose. Another option is to have your artwork framed with UV protective glass or Plexiglas. Professional framers and art shops know all about this!

Variations in Temperature and Dampness

Oil and acrylic paintings can do such things such as crack over time. Stretcher bars on which canvas is mounted will expand and contract when the humidity changes. Temperature can do the same thing, Add fluctuations in light and the issue can get worse.

Paintings will do better over time when they are displayed and stored in rooms in your home with less differentiation in the heat, cold and humidity. Living rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. are better. Bathrooms, kitchens, attics and basements would be the worst!


Contaminants will affect your artwork by causing chemical reactions. Discoloration is often caused by backings and framing that is not acid-free. Very often, especially with older matted work, you will see yellowing on prints and photographs. Frame or reframe with acid-free options. Most if not all framers and hobby stores have these options available now.


These are some tips that will help you care for your artwork and be able to enjoy it for a long long time. Take care to also get professionals when moving so they can take care of your artwork in the process.