“What can I do to prevent my art-work getting damaged while inside a frame?”
It’s a common question we get. And it occurs, time and time again, because people sometimes frame a picture without being aware of what might damage it later. Of course, not everyone is concerned about such things, and a cheap print that sits in a frame may never be re-framed. But sometimes it pays to be sensible – for example, if you’re framing a limited edition print or a piece of art that is priceless and may need re-framing at a later stage (such as a painting bought from a gallery on preview night).
Step 1: be careful when applying tape to art-work
One of the biggest offenders of this kind of damage is the wrong kind of tape (usually this means tape that is too sticky and not designed for the task). When fixing a watercolour to a mount, for example, tape is largely unavoidable. The key is to use acid-free fixing tape that can be removed in the future if need be, leaving the paper unscathed.
Step 2: keep those summer flies at bay!
Anyone who has ever had a frame with glass in it will know what those tiny little black (so-called) thunder-flies look like. Not only are they a blight on the mount, particularly if light in colour, but they ruin the appearance. How to keep them out? Easy, in fact. Always make sure you tape up the back of the frame with gum-tape (the kind whose glue is made adhesive using water). And remember, even if you do tape-up, flies can still sneak in, so every couple of years their removal is often a necessary evil.
Step 3: beware of the light
The last obvious thing that attacks paintings behind glass or otherwise is light. So have a good think about where to hang that watercolour with the vibrant colours, and avoid direct sunlight at all costs. Light is sinister in this scenario because it does the damage very gradually over time. You may not notice it for a while, but if you’re not careful it’ll be too late by the time you do!