How Long Will My Painting last

Many new collectors ask, “How long will my painting last?” Paintings live and breathe and depending on the thickness of paint applied, they can sometimes take longer than a year or so after that final drop of paint is applied. If you place your painting in a dark room, it will dull. If you put your painting in a room with good light, the colours will come alive.

Oil Paintings on Canvas

How long your painting last, depends on many variables. The reality is, despite mediums used and all attempts to ensure a painting last generations, sometimes it does not. Treat your painting with care, and it’s very possible it will last generations. I only paint with oil paints, which can be more problematic than using acrylic paint due to the medium containing oil. One of the main reasons an oil painting won’t last, is weeping paintings that can occur on cotton and canvas paintings.

Basically, oil paint seeps through to the back of the canvas. When it happens, you can see yellow spots on the back of the canvas. This in turn, will eventually rot the canvas. Normally, a properly prepared painting surface such as canvas, which has had a surface applied on the cotton or linen prior to painting with oils, will stop oil seeping through and the painting will last for generations. We have evidence of it all around with the many paintings from great artists surviving hundreds of years. The same applies for any other surface used, such as wooden and masonite surfaces. Environmental factors also contribute to life of any painting and is mentioned below.

If you would like to see an article written about weeping paintings I found this one Weeping Paintings. What is interesting about the article is it notes that even well known artists had paintings weep, one seven years after the painting was considered to be fully dry.

All paintings are sent with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Stretcher Frames

Despite the best materials used for frames some will warp. One consolation is that normally if a stretcher frame warps, it will do so very quickly during or after the painting process and within a month or so of completing the painting. Other times, humidity and the way a painting is stored will cause the problem. By the time all paintings are listed for sale, if they were going to warp under normal conditions they would have done so. I have from time to time, paintings discounted and listed for sale un-streached where the frame has warped and they will need to be re-stretched by a framer.

Paintings on Canvas Panels

I use them sometimes for studies, and have used them for the Mini Series of seascape paintings. These can last for decades, but by nature can also have issues related to the board warping. Warping normally happens with larger boards, which are not framed. Canvas panels are also subject to environmental issues. The boards I use are a professional quality, small, and I supply a protective frame.

Paintings on 280gs Cotton Canvas sheets

I also sometimes use these for studies and sell some of the originals as are or framed. Others have been made into Art Prints. Some of the originals are sold unframed and need to be mounted and framed to protect them. Like all paintings, their lasting ability depends on many factors.

Environmental Problems

The other reason some paintings won’t last is the environment. Too hot, too cold, all take a toll on a painting’s canvas, stretchers and painting surface itself. Oil paintings should not be placed in direct sunlight and humidity and dampness can also cause problems such as mold. That’s why many galleries have controlled temperatures. Paintings also shouldn’t have the surface of the painting touched by hands, especially if it is a toddler’s little palm. Wear gloves when handling the painting to hang and move. Storage can also be an issue due to temperatures and the way the painting is stood or laid. Avoid places them on irregular angles. They should always be stored straight up and down if possible. And then we have critters such as insects, cockroaches ect. If you need to store your painting do so where it is least likely to be subjected to creepy crawlies.

Mediums Used

Medium surfaces are a personal thing. I prefer to use cotton duck for canvas paintings. All surfaces that I used are primed by hand to industry standards prior to painting with oils. As many of my paintings take at least a month or so to be touch dry enough for shipping, any problems with the canvas, panels, or frames should appear prior to me listing them for sale.

At this stage, I haven’t had a painting returned for issues relating to quality.