140A Windsor Street
Richmond NSW 2753
Phone (02) 4502 8980
Open Tue to Fri 9 to 5, Sat 10 to 2, closed Mon and Sun

How healthy is your framed artwork?

The maintenance of the frame is crucial to the ongoing health of the artwork.
 
Inferior framing materials and techniques can do serious harm to your artwork. In fact, a great percentage of damage to artworks that conservators encounter is caused by detrimental framing materials.
 
Using our simple health check will help you to determine whether the framing materials are still providing adequate support and protection for your artwork or whether they need attention and updating.
 
Artworks can in most cases be re-framed into their existing frames provided the internal depth of these frames offers enough space for the new materials to be fitted in. The artwork and the frame often represent a unit that you will want to preserve. This is simply done by updating the materials such as matboards, protective glazing, backing boards and hanging supports. This provides the artwork with a healthy stable environment once again while allowing you to keep the look or the design. Old mat designs and decorations can be recreated such as watercolour washlines or gilded elements on matboard.
 
Checking your framed artwork for developing damage or potentially harmful framing materials will help prolong the life of your valued items.
Health Check
Take your framed artwork off the wall for a closer inspection.
From the front, please check the following:
 Are there any spots or discolouration visible on the artwork?
Yes
No
 Are there any colours fading in the artwork?
Yes
No
 Does the bevel on the matboard appear yellow/brown in colour?
Yes
No
 Does the surface of the matboard show spots or discoloration?
Yes
No
 Does the artwork appear to have slipped behind the window mat?
Yes
No
 Are there signs of the glass not being clean on the inside?
Yes
No
 Are the corners of the frame separating and not securely joined?
Yes
No
 Does the glass show any visible cracks?
Yes
No
 Can you see any other signs that could indicate frame deterioration?
Yes
No
Now, turn it around and inspect the back:
 Is there any visible discolouration or staining on the back of the frame?
Yes
No
 Is there any tape starting to lift away from the back?
Yes
No
 Are there visible signs of insect infestation?
Yes
No
 Are the hangers and the wire/cord coming loose or showing signs of stress?
Yes
No
 Is the frame hanging on the wall without sufficient space for air circulation behind it?
Yes
No
 Are there any other signs on the back that could indicate frame deterioration?
Yes
No
While you have the artwork off the wall, take this opportunity to inspect the hanging fixture in the wall
to see, whether it is still attached securely.
 
All questions in this health-check can be regarded as critical to the life of your framed artworks.
If you have ticked the Yes box to any of these questions, it is advisable to bring the framed artwork to us for an inspection and assessment.

 
Matboards
100% cotton rag boards or alpha cellulose boards are the only safe choice.

Glazing materials
Choosing acrylic (Perspex) glazing has got many advantages such as it being lightweigt, not prone to breaking, not having a colour cast, filtering harmful UV rays as well as not attracting condensation and therefore not encouraging mould growth in your frame.

Backing materials
Fluted polypropylene such as CoreFlute acts as a moisture barrier and is a rigid, impact resistant and lightweight backing for frames.

Hanging supports
Strong D-rings fixed with screws, coated stainless steel wire that is securely crimped with metal sleeves and felted bump-ons allowing for air circulation between the frame and the wall all make up a good combination of hanging materials.