The question of how to preserve oil paintings is often asked by many people. Having original oil paintings hung throughout a home is nothing short of opulent. An interior design that is full of enviable conversation pieces is created with a collection of artworks on the walls. There is nothing more beautiful than the rich textures of a painting in a home with a well-designed interior.

In order to keep the artworks looking their best for years to come, art collectors must ensure that they are properly cared for. 

It is common for art owners to make a number of mistakes when it comes to hanging their works at home. It is possible for art collectors to ensure that their prized artwork remains in excellent condition for a long time by avoiding the five mistakes listed below. 

Putting Oil Painting up in a Hot or Smokey Environment

An oil painting should never be hung above a mantel, near radiators, or in the bathroom or kitchen.

There are several ways in which heat can damage paintings, including the paint layer, the support, and even chemical reactions within the painting. 

The support can be damaged by excessive heat creases, warping, weakening, or breaking. Furthermore, it can also cause cracks in the paint layer, loss of paint, and in worse cases, blistering or bubbling of the paint.

Despite the best efforts, a frame cannot guarantee that heat from a fireplace or other heat sources will not affect a painting. Other heat sources, such as radiators, heating vents, stoves, and fireplaces, also suffer from these damaging effects. 

As a result of heat sources, the smoke and soot will build up on the surface of the painting, obstructing the colors and details. 

Exposing Oil Paintings to Sunlight and Direct Lighting

Continuous exposure to sunlight can fade colors and details and cause the varnish to discolor much more quickly on paintings and drawings. UV light can chalk some paints, while binders and varnishes can crack and embrittle if exposed for too long. There is no reversibility to severe sunlight damage.

Direct sunlight on an oil painting must be moved immediately by the owner. Special frames with UV-resistant glass can be used in homes with a lot of natural light. The artwork should be hung in an area that is least affected by natural light, as they may not block out all the harmful rays. 

Rather than hanging lights over the picture or attaching them to the top of the frame, make sure indirect lighting or ceiling-mounted spotlights are used to illuminate the painting.

Hanging in High-Humidity Areas


Long-term exposure to humidity can damage a painting in a variety of ways. There is a possibility that some canvas might shrink, while the frame might expand, causing your painting to be under considerable stress. Paint and canvas would crack, delaminate, warp, and ripple as a result. There can be a greater risk of cracking and warping when it comes to paintings on wooden panels. There is a possibility of irreversible damage. 

A humid home can make it hard to protect a painting, but there are some ways to avoid that. Paintings should be placed in dry rooms with little moisture in the air to avoid humidity. It is therefore not recommended to hang paintings in bathrooms, near sinks, or in sunrooms or patios. It is beneficial to run a humidifier in the room where paintings are kept if you live in a humid country like India.

An oil painting can also be adversely affected by mold and mildew. As soon as microorganisms attack a painting on canvas, they penetrate all layers.

Ensure the relative humidity and temperature of your paintings do not drastically fluctuate and that they are kept in a low-humidity environment. 

Improperly Hanging Oil Paintings

Hanging an oil painting with improper fixings results in uneven weight distribution. Backboards and frames can become stressed over time, resulting in cracks, warping, or separating the support from the painting. When the canvas or board is damaged, it can develop creases, rips, or warps. Accidental falls can also occur when paintings are hung improperly. The use of proper fixings is as important as having a flat surface. If a painting covers outlets, wires, fuse boxes, or other objects that protrude from a wall, indents, stretched canvas, or rips and tears may occur.

A D ring attached to the stretcher or frame is the best way to hang paintings. In addition to providing full support for the painting, these pieces of hardware prevent the painting from hanging forward, and they prevent the painting from being easily knocked crooked. Picture hooks should be used to attach the D rings to the wall, not screws or nails. After the painting is hung, it's important to test its stability on the wall.

Standard picture screws and D rings cannot hold much larger paintings. It is possible to order and install hardware for hanging large pictures instead.

When paintings are hung properly, collectors and art lovers can display their works without worrying about damage.

Lack of Proper Cleaning and Maintenance

It is very common for conservators to see cleaning products and tools that damage paintings' surfaces.

Many well-meaning art owners believe feather dusters and electrostatic dusters are gentle ways to remove dust and debris from their paintings. In spite of their gentle appearance, these tools can scratch a painting's surface or snag on rough areas.

Air fresheners, furniture cleaners, and multipurpose cleaners are other aerosol sprays that may damage a painting. Due to their small size and ability to travel very far, these particles are invisible to the naked eye. Therefore, art owners often don't realize the damage they are causing. 

A sable brush, badger hair brush, or similar brush should be used infrequently to avoid these housekeeping mistakes. You can easily order or purchase these brushes from an art supply store. If the paint is cracked, flaking, or chipped, it is important to check for them before dusting. Until a painting is restored, it should not be dusted.

It is never advisable to use aerosols or fine mist cleaning products around paintings. Rather than spraying directly on nearby surfaces, these types of cleaners can be sprayed on a rag away from the painting before being used.

The best way to protect an oil painting from serious damage is to avoid these housekeeping mistakes, which will prevent extensive conservation from being necessary. 


Art owners can help preserve their treasures by taking appropriate care of their paintings, even though they can't stop them from aging. They can, however, prevent them from deteriorating if they are displayed properly. Being a responsible art owner means learning how to care for oil paintings on canvas. These mistakes can be avoided by art owners so that their prized painting becomes family heirloom.

However, it is also very important to buy art online which is of premium quality and authentic. IndianArtIdeas is one such place wherein you can buy myriad varieties of oil paintings that are handcrafted by world-class artisans. Grab the best online art at IndianArtIdeas and also reach out to us while you decide to buy and sell oil paintings!