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Encaustic care instructions Free Download

Encaustic Care Instructions | Free Download

Do you provide collectors with encaustic care instructions?

I’m sure that we have all had questions about how wax will stand up to heat and humidity. There will always be people who presume that encaustic is more fragile than other fine art mediums. It is good to reassure them with the knowledge that some ancient encaustic paintings are thousands of years old.

Art collectors appreciate it when the artist provides some information on caring for their new encaustic artwork. Do you include a care instruction sheet on the back of the panel or provide the gallery with one to give to buyers?

Feel free to download and edit the following information to provide care instructions to your collectors.

About encaustic

My encaustic paintings are made with beeswax, damar resin (a natural tree sap that acts as a hardening agent), and pigment. I paint in layers, fusing each layer with heat.

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 encaustic painting as you would any fine art. Use care hanging, transporting or storing a painting.

  1. Consistent Temperature

    Hang and store at normal room temperatures. Avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures; wax will melt at 150°F / 65°C.

  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight

    Keep all artwork out of direct sunlight.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Curing of Encaustic Art

    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 repel dust.

Have something to add?

Would you add anything to these encaustic care instructions? Please add a comment below, I will be happy to update the post with your recommendations.

About Ruth Maude

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of encaustic materials, techniques and tools. Everything I learn pushes my creative journey in new directions. I share what I've learned with other artists through my blog All Things Encaustic.

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32 thoughts on “Encaustic Care Instructions | Free Download”

  1. The wax beads I buy are snow white, but when they are heated the wax seems too yellow. Am I heating too much, or what do you think the problem can be?

  2. Hi, the last sentence in the encaustic care instructions states that it will shed. What does this mean? Thank you for sharing. Melissa

    1. Strangely the last few words were missing… it should read “it will shed dust more readily”. I’ve changed it now to say “it will repel dust”. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. I use michrochrystaline wax and sometimes oil on top with mineral spirits. I scrape the painting down .All good but there’s a tackiness to the surface. Can I seal the finished painting with some kind of protective sealer?

  4. I was recently gifted with an original encaustic painting by Elizabeth Schowachert dated ‘13 that unfortunately now has surface scratches. They are not deep and the signature impression is not damaged but I wonder if I can repair the surface myself?

    1. Hi Gail,

      It is possible to repair light surface scratches on an encaustic painting but very hard to recommend how to approach fixing it without actually seeing the work in person. I am wondering where you are located? If you are in the Dallas, Fort Worth area I may be able to fix it for you.

      If not please feel free to email a few pictures of the work and I can take a look and see if I can recommend how to address. You can email from my online store.

      1. I will email you soon and send a photo for you to gage the damage. I am in the Fort Worth area but not often in Dallas.

  5. Hello , thank you for the article and great effort , i have a question about the Dammar resin, is there any other alternative as both dammar resin and carnauba wax are not available in my country ..

    thank you

    1. You’re welcome, Evelien. Wax sealer is not needed. I’ve heard of an acrylic wax sealer that is used by those who do iron art painting, but I’ve never understood why anyone would bother with it.

  6. Thanks, Ruth, Just sold my first painting and as an afterthought wonder if I should be providing care instructions. Your site is such a great guide for me. I really enjoy it.

  7. Thanks for that article. I always attach a piece of paper with the care instructions on the back of my paintings. Now I can go over them and see if I forgott to mention something 🙂

  8. Thank you so much, serendipitous, such a coincidence I was getting ready to create a similar write up.! Yours is perfect!!

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