Dry Cabinets for Paintings


New Member
Oct 2, 2013

All parts of an oil painting expand and contract in reaction to atmospheric conditions. Since the paints, canvas, and frame expand and contract at different speeds and in unequal proportion, the painting is subject to stress. This stress can result in premature aging and damage to your artwork. The worst stress occurs during rapid changes in temperature and humidity. Gradual changes produce acceptable stress. The least stress occurs in a completely controlled environment (such as a museum) where the temperature is around 65 degrees and relative humidity is about 60 percent.

Collectors should avoid storing paintings in areas with extremes of dryness, humidity, heat and cold such as directly under air conditioners or over working fireplaces. Warping of wood frames, cracking and flaking off of the oils, rotting of the canvas, and discoloration of the paints are the most likely effects of prolonged exposure to these conditions. Physical damage (as opposed to chemical such as smoke or organic such as insects) is the most common form of damage to an oil painting.Paint chipping and cracking are likely results as well as dent-like impressions that are almost always impossible to correct. Organic substances, such as mildrew or mold, thrives in areas with moisture.

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