by April Reinhardt
(last updated November 4, 2013)
Perhaps you've invested a great deal of time and money decorating your home with fine artwork. If you want to preserve your artwork for generations to come, so that they may enjoy the beauty and workmanship, you need to care for it and clean it periodically. Follow these guidelines to learn how to protect your investment by cleaning it properly.
If you have extremely old artwork that needs to be restored, consult a professional about restoration and cleaning. Do not use water or water-based cleaners on a painting, especially if it is peeling, cracking, or flaking. Water can get underneath the paint layers and disintegrate the artwork. When attempting to clean fine artwork, always test a small, inconspicuous place before cleaning the entire piece.
Always use acid-free mats to protect your artwork from discoloration, and avoid hanging them in areas that become steamy, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Artwork that is framed in glass should be carefully cleaned with a cotton cloth. Never spray household cleaners directly onto framed artwork. Instead, spray the cloth and then clean the glassed picture or photo. Dust fine frames with lamb's wool to prevent scratches, and protect your artwork from ultraviolet rays by installing window film. You can further protect your fine artwork from household lighting by having it framed with conservation quality glazing.
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