Moisture-proof cabinet

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JamesPope44

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Hi, so, I would like to make a moisture-proof cabinet which can store a large piece of artwork (a print). The artwork is too large for the house, and we cannot fit it into our loft. The perfect place is the garage, but that is a slave to the environment. I was thinking of making a wooden storage container with some damp-proof membrane on the inside! Has anyone ever had an experience of this? a) will it work (ie protect the print from damp winter months when stored in the garage), b) any recommendations on materials? ie will something like this be fine, Capital Valley Plastics Ltd Damp-Proof Membrane Black 1000ga 3 x 4m - or do I need to find something a little more specialised?

The storage unit is pretty straight forward, its more the correct membrane to use.......?

Any recommendations would be amazing! Many thanks, James
 

Richard_C

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I had thought that or similar, don't complicate it. Needs to be dry atmosphere when you put it in and maybe get it out a few times a year. Keep all those little bags of silica gel that comes in some packaging, or buy it.

The big question is value, is it something you want to keep for personal reasons or is it something worth ££££ in which case you might do it differently. Too big for house - do you have a ceiling you could display it on? Odd but it works for the Sistene Chapel.

(my wife would say too big to hang, not likely to move, get rid but I would argue. I keep far too much stuff)
 

Sideways

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Renaissance wax microcrystalline wax, if I remember, was formulated for preserving documents among other things. I can forsee all sorts of hazards storing an artwork - too damp, too dry and brittle, mould and fungus ? It might be worth asking a museum curator for advice if it's important to you.
 

JamesPope44

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Renaissance wax microcrystalline wax, if I remember, was formulated for preserving documents among other things. I can forsee all sorts of hazards storing an artwork - too damp, too dry and brittle, mould and fungus ? It might be worth asking a museum curator for advice if it's important to you.
Thank you, I appreciate the comments. It is a print on canvas, so some of the rules for paint on canvas shouldnt apply here?
 

JamesPope44

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I had thought that or similar, don't complicate it. Needs to be dry atmosphere when you put it in and maybe get it out a few times a year. Keep all those little bags of silica gel that comes in some packaging, or buy it.

The big question is value, is it something you want to keep for personal reasons or is it something worth ££££ in which case you might do it differently. Too big for house - do you have a ceiling you could display it on? Odd but it works for the Sistene Chapel.

(my wife would say too big to hang, not likely to move, get rid but I would argue. I keep far too much stuff)
Yes, the silica gels are an excellent idea.

Keeping it for both reasons really. I do like the artwork (but my wife hates it - ha!), but to be fair it also doesnt really work in our house. It is a big piece and we have quite low ceilings, long and narrow rooms. So it does look out of proportion. Funnily, she suggested taking it down the tip, but I reminded her how much it was worth! So, I think my preference is to store it safely for five years or so, and then when we make our final home move see if it fits in the new place.

Thank you for the comments.
 

PDW125

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Silica gel doesn’t last forever, and canvas is not as forgiving as you think, it absorbs moisture unless it’s sealed both sides properly. Without seeing the print or the size, it’s hard to advise but as a minimum you need to protect from dust, light, impact, moisture and bending. Ideally you want an air space in front of the paint, and it’s usually easy to start with using unbleached tissue on the corners then proprietary foam packing - like the corner protectors you find in deliveries. This is taped temporarily then the whole thing should be wrapped in pallet wrap - this forms the first layer. Clean cardboard front and back should be added, then tag this onto the corners with pallet wrap again. Next should be 1/4” hardboard, this is the protection from impact, and goes both sides. This should be put in to a plastic bag and sealed with tape. Finally, it should be put into a correx box the correct size with silica crystal bags but these are only to monitor the environment outside the picture - if they change colour you need to move it somewhere less damp. Always keep the picture vertical, and never leant up as it will bend over time. Long term art storage is an expensive business - you can see why based on the above which is how they are packed for overseas shipping.
 

Sideways

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Silica gel isn't overly expensive if you buy (say) a dozen 100g bags at a time.
It's quickly regenerated and can be used many times over.
My experience of using it for tool protection is that the orange / green colour change stuff is great. It tends to go orange to green quite quickly as it draws moisture out of whatever container you put it in, but it still has plenty of capacity to absorb more moisture.
When regenerating in a microwave, copious steam comes out of the gel and it's only in later stages of the drying out process that it returns to orange.
 

RobinBHM

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Hi, so, I would like to make a moisture-proof cabinet which can store a large piece of artwork (a print). The artwork is too large for the house, and we cannot fit it into our loft. The perfect place is the garage, but that is a slave to the environment. I was thinking of making a wooden storage container with some damp-proof membrane on the inside! Has anyone ever had an experience of this? a) will it work (ie protect the print from damp winter months when stored in the garage), b) any recommendations on materials? ie will something like this be fine, Capital Valley Plastics Ltd Damp-Proof Membrane Black 1000ga 3 x 4m - or do I need to find something a little more specialised?

The storage unit is pretty straight forward, its more the correct membrane to use.......?

Any recommendations would be amazing! Many thanks, James
id be nervous about this

a friend of mine put a cover over his MX5 once and after the winter took the cover off to discover round blobs of mould, which couldnt be cleaned off -he got the car resprayed in the end
 

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