Care of Encaustic Paintings
Some of my paintings are true multilayered encaustics, where each wax layer is fused with heat and then another layer is applied. They are not framed as described below. But most of my encaustic paintings are monotypes on asian paper with a combination of ink, watercolor, wax/oil paint and they do not need any special care. These monotypes are framed with glass or plexiglass.
The following was adapted from a blog, "allthingsencaustic.com":
Encaustic painting has a long history, dating back to the 5th Century B.C. The word encaustic means to burn in, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Beeswax is impervious to moisture, it will not deteriorate, it will not yellow or darken. Encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass.
How to care for your encaustic artwork:
Treat an unframed or floater-framed encaustic painting as you would any fine art. Use care hanging, transporting or storing a painting.
- Consistent Temperature - Hang and store at normal room temperatures. Avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures; wax will melt at 150°F / 65°C.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight - Keep all artwork out of direct sunlight.
- Transporting a painting - When packing encaustic art for transportation, cover the face of the painting with wax paper. Do not use bubble wrap directly on the front of the painting as it may leave an imprint on the surface. For shipping, build a box the right size for the painting.
- Framing - Encaustic does not need to be protected by glass. A floater frame is an attractive option that also protects the edges of the painting from scratches, dents and chips. Works on paper may be framed under glass; ensure the glass is not in contact with the artwork.
- Curing - During the first 6-12 months, as the wax cures, an encaustic painting may develop bloom. Bloom is a naturally occurring hazy white residue. It may also occur if a painting is exposed to cold. Bloom can easily be removed by buffing the surface of the painting. Encaustic paintings can be buffed to a high gloss using a soft, lint-free cloth or pantyhose. If the original sheen has become dull over time, it can be brought back by repeating the buffing process. Once an encaustic painting has fully cured and hardened, it will shed.