Handling paper, paintings and framed objects


Handling paper objects

• Some paper is acidic paper which means it can be brittle, so always provide support under the object you are moving with a rigid material like archival cardboard
• Sandwich between card/boards when moving or carrying outdoors
• Separate items with acid-free tissue
• Use Mylar sleeves, Copysafe sleeves, or ziplock bags when carrying or moving paper items
• Always carry items in a horizontal position
• Solander boxes can be used to store or carry larger numbers of items
• Beware of chalky materials such as pastels, chalks or pencil which can be easily smudged, and are affected by static electricity which can build up in Mylar or Perspex

Handling paintings and other framed works

• Before moving a painting check for areas of flaking paint. If there are areas where the paint is loose, carry the work in a horizontal position
• In all other cases, carry the painting upright, or it a vertical position
• Check that the painting is secure in its frame
• Check that the stretcher wedges are secure
• Remove all screw-eyes, wires and hooks from frames before moving paintings
• Never carry framed works by the top of the frame nor by the picture wire
• One hand should support the underside of the painting and the other support the side of the work
• If resting the painting against a wall, use foam or padded wooden blocks to raise the work off the floor
• Place these evenly to support the bottom edge of the frame
• Avoid putting fingers around stretcher bars as you can dent/damage the paintwork


Handling material with soft painted surfaces

• This includes objects such as painted Aboriginal spears and clubs
• Handle these objects as little as possible. Typically pigments are not well-adhered to the surface and will easily rub off.