Caring for Your Watercolor Art

So you just created or purchased a beautiful watercolor keepsake. Now what? There are a few things to keep in mind when you are prepping your new painting for display. I've outlined them below to make it super simple.

Matting & Framing

You have to mat and frame your watercolor painting! Leaving your painting exposed can quickly cause damage, due to changes in the environment and moisture in the air.

Make sure your mat is thick enough that there is plenty of space between the glass of the frame and your painting. If the artwork is too close to the glass, it could stick to it over time. Also, sticking to the glass + humidity in the room = mold. Eww, right? No one wants a moldy painting.

When choosing a mat and backer board, make sure they're both archival and 100% acid-free. Acidity in the materials will damage watercolor paper, so this is super important. Sidebar: all of the backer board and matting I use and send to customers are acid-free!

To adhere the painting to the mat, use an acid-free paper tape. Glue will damage the painting, whereas the tape will not. When framing, make sure you are putting your backer board behind your painting before hanging to give it an additional layer of protection.

Temperature

Watercolor paintings are picky, my friends. They're the Goldilocks of the art world - they don't want it too hot or too cold. The temperature of the room you're storing them in needs to be juuuuust right. Make sure you are hanging them in a temperature controlled room, away from direct heat sources (i.e., radiators, ovens, etc.) and humidity (don't hang 'em in the bathroom, folks).

Lighting

Don't hang your painting in direct sunlight, as this can make the paint fade and yellow over time. Even with lightfast watercolor paint, fading can still be a problem when the painting is continually exposed to sunlight. Save the bright window space for your plant babies, not your art babies.

Fluorescent light can also emit harmful UV rays. Thinking about bringing your painting into your fluorescent-filled office? Try a watercolor print instead! Note: acrylic plexiglass can help prevent harmful UV rays from getting to the painting.

Experts suggest rotating the painting from exterior to interior rooms in your house periodically, to help prevent too much light exposure.


I don't know about you, but I would be super bummed out if I shelled out a bunch of my hard earned money on a painting that started to fade after a few years. Following these super easy tips can help your paintings last for many years to come!