Can Acrylic Paintings Be Stored in a Garage?

Garage storage

It finally happened: you have so many acrylic paintings that you don’t know what to do with them! There are far too many to hang on the wall, and you don’t have the heart to sell them. Perhaps you would like to alternate between your many paintings, hanging a different painting in a different room every other month, but you’re afraid that putting your paintings into storage will ruin them. In searching for a safe storage area, many people wonder whether they can store acrylic paintings in a garage. 

Can Acrylic Paintings Be Stored in a Garage? Well yes, acrylic paintings can indeed be stored in a garage. So long as your paintings are wrapped and stored appropriately, they can survive life in your garage for however long you desire. 

This article will share the proper way to package and store your acrylic paintings and avoid any unnecessary damage! 

Storing Acrylics in the Garage

How Should I Store Acrylic Paintings in a Garage?

When most people consider storing their paintings away, their minds immediately jump to saran wrap. Saran wrap is a thin plastic designed to protect food from spoiling and can be sealed air-tight! Surely it’s a good storage choice, right? Wrong. When it comes to acrylic paintings, saran wrap is a pretty risky choice—it can lead to your paintings molding! 

Sunlight can also cause your acrylic paintings to fadeOpens in a new tab., turn yellow, and lose their finish. To prevent this from happening, you should avoid storing your paintings in rooms with many windows or exterior walls. Windows will bring in not only sunlight, but also wind, moisture, and other weather-related elements, all things that can quickly damage your acrylic paintings. 

Finally, you are going to want to avoid cardboard or wooden boxesOpens in a new tab.. I understand that not everyone has a metal box on-hand, but much like saran wrap, cardboard and wood can lead to dampness, mold, and bugs! 

Mixed Media GirlOpens in a new tab.

In the following sections, I’ll discuss the best ways to prepare your acrylic paintings for storage.

Archive Your Art

If your acrylic paintings are damaged while in storage, you will want to take a photo inventory. Archiving your paintings ensures that you have digital copies if the originals are ruined. 

Photographing your paintings is also an excellent way to document changes over time. Taking a photo of a painting after it has been in storage for a while could reveal damage, which will serve as an incentive to find a better way to store your art. 

To archive your paintings, take a photo and add a name, a description of the contents of the painting itself, and any notes on the existing damage. This documentation can be done online at Artwork ArchiveOpens in a new tab.

Prepare Your Art for Storage in the Garage

Once the proper documentation is done, you can begin to prepare your art for storage. 

  1. Clean your paintings with a microfiber cloth. This will remove dust from the surface, so it isn’t trapped with the painting while in storage. You may also want to use wood or metal polish to prevent rusting, depending on whether or not your paintings are framed. Doing this will stop rust from staining your art. 
  1. Use a crescent board. Crescent board is a type of acid-free professional mounting board that experts use to keep paintings separated during storage. It also keeps paintings from touching each other during transportation. Unlike saran wrap, a crescent board will not cause mold because it will allow your paintings to breathe.
  1. All materials you use to store your paintings should be acid-free. Any acidic storage material introduces the risk of dying the backside of your painting. This dying will, in turn, change the color of the painting itself. Materials that are not acid-free also age faster, which means you will have to replace them and ultimately spend more money in the long run. When in doubt, go acid-free! 

Keep Acrylic Paintings off the Ground

Because a garage can become flooded quite easily, you will want to avoid setting your storage boxes on the ground. This rule of thumb applies even if your storage boxes are made of metal. A simple alternative to the ground is a shelf or a table. You could even set your art boxes on egg crates or wooden platforms to keep them out of contact with the floor.

Consider a Storage Unit as an Alternative to your Garage

While it would be ideal to have your paintings at home and within reach, storing them in the garage may prove impossible. Perhaps over time, you expect to run out of space. In that scenario, it may be time to consider storing your paintings in a storage unit! 

Since you will be storing your paintings outside your home, you should be careful when driving and always store the paintings vertically in their boxes during transportation. Lying them flat will prevent them from knocking against each other and sliding around. Even if you use a crescent board to divide your paintings, the box could potentially tip over and spill while you are driving. Paintings that are lying flat are less likely to move around during transit. 

Keep in mind that paintings need to be kept at a steady, cool temperature. Both a garage and a storage unit are ideal for this, as they are cool, dark places. The necessary humidity for painting storage is 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C). You can achieve this with a humidifier if you’re storing the paintings in your garage versus in a storage unit, which is one advantage to storing your art at home. 

Unfortunately, another downside to using a storage unit is the content in your neighbor’s unit. You can control the climate and content of your own unit, but you can’t control what your neighbor stores in their unit! 

Your neighbor’s storage unit could contain bugs and spills, all of which might spread into your storage unit and damage your artwork. The risk of neighboring bugs and moisture makes the storage unit a riskier route for storing your acrylic paintings. 

Final Words

In conclusion, acrylic paintings should be stored vertically in a climate-controlled space in mold-proof boxes. Keep your paintings away from sunlight and saran wrap. Proper storage will help your art collection last a very long time! 


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Caraca's self-taught artist based in the UK, Ines explores unconventional materials and sustainability.

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