Care of an Encaustic Painting

Encaustic paintings are durable and archival, due in great part to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture. Because of this they will not yellow or darken with time, unlike an oil painting. There are many examples of encaustic painting which have survived from ancient Greek and Roman times and which are as vibrant and fresh as if they were painted yesterday.
However, there are some things to be aware of when caring for an encaustic painting:
* As with all art forms, encaustic paintings should not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures – they do best in temperatures between 40–125° Fahrenheit ( 5–52° Celsius ).* The surface of a painting can get scratched, dented or chipped, and the edges of encaustic paintings are especially vulnerable to chipping.* A floating frame is good protection for the edges and it is your best option as a framing presentation as it protects the edges and still allows for you to view the edges as they are quite often of interest. Encaustic paintings do not need to be varnished or protected by glass.* Encaustic paintings can be buffed to a high gloss using a soft, lint free cloth. This sheen dulls over time and can be brought back by repeating the process.* An encaustic painting may develop “bloom” (a naturally occurring hazy white residue) during the first six to twelve months as the wax cures. It may also occur if a painting is exposed to cold. Bloom can easily be removed by wiping the surface of the painting with a soft cloth or if the painting is more textured, the use of a hair dryer will remove it. Buffing or use of a hair dryer can be repeated as necessary.* Occasional dusting and buffing of the surface of an encaustic painting with a soft cloth will help maintain the unique patina of the wax.

Encaustic Care