How to Store Your Fine Art

Gemini | September 28, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

Storing fine art is an art unto itself. Art storage requires special care and preparation. If you’ve found yourself with more pieces in your collection than you have space for, we can help you store your fine art safely and securely.

Don’t stack that valuable art in your attic or basement. Store it carefully in a safe storage location that is climate controlled. While there are fine art specific storage facilities, self-storage provides an economical solution to storing fine art that is dependable and easy. We’ll tell you how to prepare your art for storage and what NOT to do when you’re storing valuable art. 

How to Prepare Your Art for Storage

Prevent discoloration and deterioration in your valuable collection. When considering art preservation, follow these steps for prepping your art for the storage facility:A woman carefully cleans her art for storage

  1. Clean dust and dirt away with a microfiber cloth.
  2. If your artwork is particularly dirty or damaged, consider a professional art restoration service before storing.
  3. Make a photo record and condition description of your art pieces.
  4. Check with your insurance to see if you need extra coverage.
  5. Wrap paintings with acid-free paper - packing materials with acid can cause art to yellow or become brittle. Wrapping plastics can lock in harmful moisture.
  6. Pack paintings upright. Laying them horizontal can stretch canvases and leave marks from the frame beneath.
  7. Pack art in acid-free boxes or wooden crates. Mirror boxes work great for paintings.
  8. Use acid-free crescent board as dividers in between artworks. Bubble wrap works too.
  9. Transfer art carefully to avoid tears, smudges, fingerprints or stains.

What Makes a Great Art Storage Facility?

Be sure that wherever you leave your art, it will be safe and secure. The biggest enemies to your art are changes in temperature and humidity and theft. Here are storage features to look for when choosing where to store your art:

  • Climate control. It goes without saying that climate control is critical. While it’s true that art has existed for hundreds of years without air conditioning, don’t risk mold and mildew creeping into your art room. Ideally you want the humidity to be between 40-50% and the temperature to be between 70-75 degrees.
  • A secure storage locker. If your facility doesn’t provide a cylinder lock, make sure you buy a high-quality lock that isn’t easy to cut or pick.A security camera watches over a secure storage facility
  • A security system. Most storage facilities have 24/7 video surveillance. This discourages thieves and provides a record of any suspicious activity if you do have problems.
  • Gated entry. A coded entry system into the facility means only other tenants are coming and going.
  • On-site management. A manager who is on-site during business hours adds another layer of protection and can be helpful when you have questions.

What Not to Do When Preserving Art for Storage

These are things that could damage or ruin your art. They highlight why having proper art storage is so important:

  • Don’t store your art in a brightly lit area. UV rays can cause colors and images to fade.
  • Never wrap your art in saran or other plastic. You risk sealing moisture in.
  • Don’t place art directly in front of an air vent. Constant blowing can damage over time.
  • Don’t store art on the floor. It can absorb moisture from concrete.
  • Don’t remove canvas stretchers or frames. They help preserve the shape of your paintings.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes. They can cause art to expand or contract. 

A little preparation and the proper tools can make storing artworks safe and worry-free over the long-term.

Find Fine Art Storage Near You

With locations across the country, chances are Storelocal has a self-storage facility near you. Check our location page from the dropdown menu and schedule a visit. We have storage units in all sizes to fit any art collection and keep it safely preserved.