Caring for, protecting and preserving your artwork
The artwork you have chosen from AFA will provide lifetimes of enjoyment if properly taken care of.
All things precious should be protected from direct sunlight.
- How to clean Plexiglass: because dust is attracted to Plexiglass, maintaining its’ cleanliness is necessary. First, blow the dust or dirt off, or use a special cloth or brush that attracts dust. If necessary, it may be cleaned with a soft lintless cloth that has been spritzed with water or an anti-static cleaner that is specifically recommended for cleaning acrylic. We like Brillianize. In lieu of a special product use a mild solution of dish detergent and warm water. When in doubt, use water and a soft cloth. Paper towel and glass cleaners with ammonia will scratch and yellow the surface of Plexiglass. Spray the solution onto a lintless cloth, and then clean the surface. Spritzing directly onto Plexi or glass may prove disastrous when artwork is hanging on the wall if gravity introduces the solution to the matt underneath.
- Annual cleaning for exterior bronzes: remove dirt with a soft cloth and very diluted soapy water. Bird droppings need to be soaked and softened with water first. When thoroughly dry, gently apply a natural beeswax, which can be found at a quality hardware store. A very thin, even coat of wax should be applied to the surface with quick dabbing action rather than rubbing, and then left to dry for six to twelve hours before polishing. Buff with a rag or soft bristle brush. Highly humid areas may call for more frequent applications, and there is no harm in waxing a sculpture more frequently than once a year. A second coat of wax will add additional gloss, if desired.
- Interior bronzes: patina specifically refers to a finish that is created on the surface of a bronze sculpture, after casting, for the purpose of artfully enhancing its beauty with color. The laborious process of applying acid or other chemicals with heat alters the color of the metal and gives it a specific finish. Normally, a patina finish softens over time, but should not change significantly. Bronzes should be displayed in ventilated areas away from excessive heat and humidity. A thorough dusting and wiping away fingerprints with a clean, dry, cotton cloth is the only basic maintenance required. If heavier cleaning is required, test a small area first, cleaning it with a mild soap and distilled water. Rinse thoroughly and mop away excess water with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Never use spray or liquid furniture polishes to dust or clean a bronze sculpture.
- Oil & acrylic paintings: sponges, brushes or rags with plain or soapy water may leave baggy pockets on a canvas where the material has been stretched. Even if the paint is on board, water can seep into any imperfections or cracks within the paint and cause flaking. The integrity of the painting could be seriously damaged by using any kind of thinners, alcohol, or abrasives. Normal maintenance for a painting couldn’t be simpler; tickle it vigorously with a feather duster weekly or monthly. If your painting is generally dusty and dingy from normal atmospheric elements in a home with fresh air during fine weather, then you may lay it upon a flat surface and vacuum it with a nozzle that has a soft brush attachment. If it needs further freshening, a good method to remove general grease and accumulated is dirt is to use a piece of soft white bread. Lightly brush the bread against the surface of the paint and when you the dirt accumulates on the being absorbed by the bread. When the piece of bread gets grubby, then take another piece. You may be required to use a couple of loaves depending on the size of the painting. This is a good method to use when there is light soiling. When you have finished, take a soft brush to flick out any leftover crumbs.