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What Temperature Should Art Be Stored At?


What temperature should art be stored at

Taking proper care of your art is incredibly important for maintaining its value and longevity. 


Part of your art care checklist should always include making sure your art is properly stored, especially for those who are storing art in a facility and those with vacation homes who leave their house vacant for long periods of time.


Here in Austin, Texas, we are all too familiar with extreme weather. During the summer, temperatures regularly exceed 100° Fahrenheit. On extremely hot or cold days, it’s critical to make sure you take the proper precautions to keep your paintings safe.


What is the correct temperature to store paintings?


According to the University of Delaware, the ideal temperature to store your art is between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius). 


You might be thinking “I like my house to stay at 75° F! Is my art at risk?!” The answer is (probably) not.


Oil and acrylic paintings are remarkably durable, so as long as you are close to that range and take proper steps to maintain and restore your artwork, your pieces should remain in good condition.


What’s the correct humidity level to store art at?


Temperature is not the only important climate-related factor when storing your artworks. Humidity is also a crucial factor to consider. According to the University of Delaware, the ideal humidity level for art storage is between 40% and 55%. Anything below 35%, and you risk drying out your paintings which will lead to cracking.


Cracking and chipping on the surface of paintings is common over time and can be repaired. If you have a painting with cracks or chips, check out our Restoration page to learn about how you can get your art piece restored.


You must also be wary of humidity levels that are too high. Humidity percentages above 65% run the risk of facilitating mold growth on your artworks, which can be extremely destructive.


Is Light Bad for Paintings?


If you’ve ever been to an art museum, you’ve probably seen signs that say “No Flash Photography”. This is because the intense light from the flash on a camera can lead to fading of the colors in an art piece over time. The same is true of sunlight. 


When at all possible, you want to avoid placing your artworks in direct sunlight for any extended period of time. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun will fade the colors of the paint and will damage the integrity of the image. 


The same can happen with indoor lighting, though the risk is much lower. Avoid placing your paintings in rooms with lights that emit high levels of infrared or UV light.


Long Term Storage for Valuable Art:


If you have highly valuable artworks that you need to store, you may want to consider specialized fine art storage facilities. For a premium price, these facilities will ensure that all of the best practices we listed are met and that your art will maintain its value for years to come. 


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