If you have to store a frame piece of artwork for a period of time inside of a storage unit, it is vital that you take the proper precautions to ensure that the artwork does not become damaged in the storage process.
#1 Clean The Frame
The first thing you need to do is clean the frame of the painting. The cleaning process depends upon the type of frame that your artwork is inside of. If the artwork has a wooden frame, dust the frame off and clean the frame using an appropriate wood cleaner. If the frame is plastic or metal, you will just need to wipe it down.
You don't want dust or grime on the frame to get transferred onto the painting during the storage process. A dirty frame could also attract unwanted insects to your painting while it is in storage, which is why it is important to clean it.
#2 Cover The Surface Of The Painting
The second thing you need to do is cover the surface of the artwork before you wrap it up for storage. This will help ensure that the surface of the artwork is not damaged and is properly protected. Place a clean piece of cloth around the surface of your artwork; use a large cloth that can cover the entire front surface of the painting and wrap around the back of the frame. Use a breathable type of cloth, such as cotton. Do not use plastic to cover the surface of your painting; it can retain moisture which could damage your painting.
#3 Wrap The Painting
The third thing you need to do is finish wrapping up your painting. Tightly wrap either bubble wrap or a storage blanket around your painting and use packing tape to seal the bubble wrap or storage blanket securely around your painting. Then, put hardboard around the front and back of your piece of artwork and seal the sides up using packing tape. Make sure that there are not any cracks or openings between the tape and the hardwood.
#4 Rent A Climate Controlled Unit
Once your piece of artwork is ready, you need to make sure to have a proper place to store the painting. You need to store your painting inside of a storage unit where you can control both the temperature and the humidity; dramatic changes in either the temperature or the humidity can cause the paint on your artwork to crack and even flake off. High humidity also creates the right conditions for mold to take hold and grow on your artwork. A climate controlled unit is the perfect type of unit for storing artwork.
#5 Be Careful With Placement Inside Of Your Storage Unit
Finally, be careful about where you place the painting inside of your storage unit. You should store your painting on a flat surface; this will help protect the integrity of your artwork. Make sure that it is on a flat surface above the ground level; you don't want to put your painting on the ground where water could get it should a leak into your storage unit ever occur.
You should also not place your painting right next to the walls either. Storage units tend to have both concrete walls and floors; concrete has a tendency to absorb moisture, which can cause damage to your painting.
If there is a heating vent inside of your storage unit, do not place your painting directly under the vent; prolonged exposure to direct heat can make the paint on your artwork soft and can result in the paint peeling off or sticking to your storage materials.
Place your painting somewhere where it will not come into contact with the walls, floors, heating source and away from high traffic areas inside of your storage unit, your painting should survive its time in storage without sustaining any damage.