Storing Fine Art: Four Things To Know

Posted on: 29 August 2017


Whether you are an artist or a collector, you want to make sure that your collection of fine art is protected while in storage. If you are considering renting a self-storage unit for your artwork, here are a few things you should know about storing these delicate masterpieces.

Choose Climate-Controlled Storage

Changes in temperature and exposure to extreme heat and cold can damage fine art. Climate-controlled storage facilities, such as North Star Mini Storage, typically keep each unit at a set temperature, which can help to avoid issues with extreme heat and cold. This can also help to control the humidity in your unit as well. Be sure to ask what temperature the unit will be kept at so you can be sure your items will be safe in storage.

Wrap Artwork For Protection

You'll want to wrap your pieces of fine art to protect them from dirt, dust, and insects. However, the type of wrapping you choose is important. Plastic wrap can trap humidity, as it doesn't allow for ideal air circulation. Instead, opt for tissue paper or other breathable materials. Acid-free archival tissue paper is a good choice for printed items or for artwork featuring textiles. If you are storing metal sculptures, you may want to have them professionally crated before putting them into your self-storage unit, as this can provide the ideal cushion and protection for unusually shaped pieces of art. You can also have canvas artwork professionally crated, which is a good option for oversized pieces of art.

Stretch Canvas Art

If you have canvas artwork that is not framed or stretched, you may want to consider having it stretched on a wood frame. This prevents the canvas from expanding and contracting during changes in temperature, and it also helps to maintain the integrity of the work. For artwork you have created yourself, it's a good idea to have it stretched once the paint is dry and it's ready for storage. For fine art you are adding to your collection, consider consulting with a professional archivist from a local gallery to determine if you should have the canvas stretched or leave it in its original condition. If you choose not to have the canvas stretched, the archivist can help you to package the artwork properly for storage.

Be sure to research the proper storage techniques for each type of art you will be storing, and take the time to pack each item away securely before placing your collection in your self-storage unit.