The best way to keep your artwork and paintings is on the walls where they are safe and can be admired. But if you have to store it elsewhere, it is very important to protect it properly. Oil paintings and other artwork are very delicate and their storage requires special attention. From specially controlled storage units to simple tips and tricks for storing, there is a lot to know about the subject. Luckily, we are here to inform you about the best practices for storing oil paintings.

What are the risks?

Risks to artwork are numerous. As stated, it is fragile and has to be handled with care. So the biggest danger to oil paintings and art are people. People do not take care of paintings and art. They easily tear, break, leave fingerprints, or scratch artwork. They tend to touch and stain the surface and damage it with liquids and inadequate storage. So, let’s get to some tips and tricks for storing oil paintings. Let’s research how to store and protect art.

A damaged fresco due to an inadequate practice when storing oil paintings.
Oil paintings and other forms of artwork are delicate and need special care and attention when storing

Handle with care

The key to artwork protection is in proper care and handling. Its storage should be in the same way. Once we know that artwork is fragile and it requires care and special conditions we can get to some of the tips and tricks:

  • Select an adequate storage area or facility
  • Prepare the art for storage
  • Handle properly

Select the adequate storage area

Storing art is not like storing anything else. You can’t put an oil painting in the attic or in the basement. The storage must be well controlled and with constant temperature and humidity. Storing art means finding and renting a climate-controlled storage unit that can protect it from the elements.


Storing oil paintings requires a proper preparation. It is good to wrap the framed pieces with a storage blanket or bubble pack. It must be sealed well and properly protected with something hard to prevent tearing and breaking. For other sheet pieces, it is advisable to roll them and protect the front surface with specialty paper that can protect it. Also, use blankets and special bubble pack to provide additional protection.

Packing foam
Prepare proper packing materials to properly protect your artwork

Proper handling

Proper handling of oil paintings is crucial for their protection. With this in mind always consider:

Climate control is critical. Any large and sudden changes in humidity and temperature can damage the artwork. The canvas can stretch, the frame can warp and become damp. Manage climate and humidity for the best protection. Attics and basements are out of the question.

Use padding for artwork protection. Artwork should be stored separately but if not possible you should use proper protection. Use proper padding to separate the items or even use s painting rack for short term storage. For long-term storage lay your paintings on a flat surface

Protect it from dust and dirt. Use clean cloths to wrap the paintings and prevent a dust buildup. Try with the airing of these pieces from time to time if you store them for long periods of time.

Avoid sunlight and heat. Paint may fade when exposed to direct sunlight while excessive heat can lead to paint peeling off and becoming soft. Pack these items in proper boxes and with adequate protection.

Mona Lisa with a mask
Protect your artwork from dust and dirt

So, if you have oil paintings and artwork that you want to put into storage make sure you research the topic. It is not that difficult to protect artwork in storage. It is easy and with some research anyone can use some tips for storing art and preserve it and protect it from damage.


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