4 Ways to Refresh Your Art

refresh your art

4 Ways to Refresh Your Art

Most of us have become well acquainted with our homes over the last few months. If you’re anything like me, you have a few things you are tired of and want to switch out immediately. (Goodbye, throw pillows. Hello, new couch!) Maybe you have a few pieces that you love, but they need a refresh — chairs to be reupholstered, tables that can be refinished, art that needs to be refitted.

We can’t help you with the furniture, but we can help you refresh your art.

Refitting your art is the easiest way to make a piece look sharp and renewed. It’s kind of like when Clark Kent takes off his glasses before he becomes Superman. It’s a small change, but it makes a big difference. A simple refit could be a gamechanger to a piece you love. Here are a few ways you can refresh your art:

1. Change Your Mat

Take a look at the mat in your frame (the paper or fabric material around your photo or art). You should see a cut edge that surrounds your photo or art. That cut shows you the mat’s core. If it is yellow or discolored, then you need a new mat. A yellow bevel is a sign of an acidic mat, and that mat can cause damage to the art underneath. 

If the core is still white, you may still want to change out your mat. You may not like the color that you chose or want something different to blend in with your new decor style. If you had a neutral mat, explore vibrant colors. If you like texture, consider fabric mats like silk or linen. Whether you need a new one or want a new one, changing your mat is an affordable way to give your art a new look.

2. Upgrade Your Glass

Antique glass is gorgeous, but it doesn’t properly protect your art and photos. UV Glass protects a piece from up to 99% of ultraviolet rays, and is stronger than antique glass. If you want minimal to zero reflection along with the UV protection, consider Museum Glass. This type of glass looks amazing on objects and fine pieces of art where you want it to have “no glass” look.

Not a fan of glass? Try acrylic. The benefit to acrylic is that it is shatter resistance and safer than glass. If you have a large piece or art that hangs lower to the ground where kids and animals can get it, then acrylic will be a safer option. Acrylic can come with the same UV protection and reflection control as many glass products.

3. Secure New Hardware

Have you ever seen a piece of art jump off a wall? Hope not. It’s terrifying. Frames can fall off of a wall if they have old or just plain bad hardware. Old backing can expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes which causes them to weaken over time. Bad hardware is cheaply made and isn’t secure enough in the frame to hold its weight.

Flip your frame over and evaluate your hardware. Give the wire a good tug. If it seems weak or thin, it may be time to upgrade your hardware. If you have a sawtooth that is loose or an easel back that is starting to weaken, we can secure it or replace it with new pieces. If you wait until it falls off the wall, then you’re too late.

4. Get a Conservation Fitting

Art and photos absorb the environment that surrounds them. We live in the Mid-Atlantic, so we experience most forms of weather, everything from dry, cold winters to hot, humid summers. That constant shift in temperature and humidity can wreak havoc on our art and photos causing issues such as mold and water damage. Antique framing, box-store frames, and non-conservation framing methods expose a piece to further damage. These frames can have gaps and openings in the backing that allow elements to sneak in and settle in the frame.

A conservation fitting can help protect a piece from the elements by creating a microenvironment for that art or photo. Art that hangs in a bathroom or kitchen needs to be professionally fitted in order to protect them from the humidity, moisture, and cooking elements. 

Refreshing your art is an easy way to give your art a new look without breaking the bank. Art is not a “set it and forget it” type of decor. Checking on your framing regularly will ensure that your art is healthy and beautiful for years to come. 

Learn how to keep your art healthy in our blog post: “How to Keep Your Art Healthy.”