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Framing and How To Care For Your Pastel Painting



Framing and How To Care For Your Painting

​Your new pastel painting is a hand-painted work which must be handled with great care. I use the best archival materials for its creation. If properly taken care of, your painting will last for many lifetimes. Pastel is one of the most permanent art mediums in existence. Many pastels painted over 200 years ago are still as bright and fresh as the day they were created.


You will receive your painting in a custom-made protective case. This case is fine for short-term storage, but to protect and preserve your painting while it is on display, you should have it professionally framed behind glass.


Handling your painting

Protecting your pastel painting:

  1. To protect your pastel painting, do not take your painting out of the custom-made protective case until framing.

  2. If you do wish to remove your painting from the custom-made protective case, please unwrap the painting very carefully. When removing packaging tape to view artwork, be cautious.

  3. Do not touch the surface of the painting as it can be easily smeared or smudged. Do not bang, blow, or spray fixative as this can cause discolouration.

  4. Your painting will be protected by frosted paper called Glassine. It is best to leave this in place until framing. If you must remove it, lift up carefully and do NOT slide it across the painting as this can cause smearing or smudging.

  5. Store your painting always face up on a flat surface. Once framed, please keep your painting face up and laying flat during transportation.

  6. Do not put anything on top of your painting as this may leave an imprint in the pastel or dent/crease the paper.

  7. Do not cover your painting with ANYTHING, not even tissue paper. Use only the provided Glassine.

  8. Frame your painting as soon as possible using acid-free archival museum grade frames and mounts. Before framing, please carefully read the instructions below as I cannot be held responsible for damage caused by improper care.



​Your painting comes with an acid free picture mount ready to be inserted into a frame of your choosing. If the mount provided is not suitable for your chosen frame, please make sure your framer provides an acid free mount as this will last a lifetime without causing damage to your painting.

Store bought frames often come with a mount which is typically not acid free. Do not use this mount as it will result in damage and decolouration of your painting.

If you want to frame your painting in a different sized frame, I recommend you go to an experienced local framers who is familiar with handling pastel paintings. You will be able to purchase an acid free picture mount from them. If you need to take your painting to the framers so they can measure it, carefully transport your painting to the framers face up on a flat surface.


I recommend using an experienced framer who is familiar with handling pastel paintings.

What to tell your framer*:

  1. You want acid-free, archival framing materials. The backing board and mats, if any, should be museum quality.

  2. Do not spray any type of fixative onto the painting as this may change the colours, damage the paper, or dislodge pastel particles.

  3. Do not ‘give it a good knock on the back’ to get any loose pastel from the portrait. This is not good practice and will damage the painting.

  4. Do not touch the painted surface. Putting fingers or other items on the painting or allowing it to be rubbed or flexed will damage the surface.

  5. Keep the painting flat, supported from underneath and facing upwards during the framing process to protect the pastel surface.

  6. Make sure the frame is glass and not Perspex. Do not use acrylic sheets, Plexiglas™ or non-glare glass to frame your portrait as these can create a static charge which will lift the pastel off the painting causing damage.

  7. Use an acid free picture mount around the painting to make sure the pastel never touches the glass.


*This brief summary of some helpful tips is to assist your framer. The information is not exhaustive and should not be relied upon by your framer. Your framer should be experienced in handling pastel paintings and is wholly responsible for the care of your painting during the framing process.


If you need to clean the outside of the glass, be sure not to use spray cleaner if the painting is already inside. For best results, use a glass wipe. If you have to use a spray cleaner, lightly spray the cleaner directly onto the cloth before wiping the glass down. Make sure the cloth is not soaked with the spray cleaner as the liquid can seep down in-between the frame and glass and can get soaked up by the paper.

When your painting is fully framed and hung in place, dust it every now and again to keep the glass looking clean.


  1. Do not hammer any hardware into the frame once the painting is inside as this can dislodge pastel from the painting onto the glass. All fixings must be attached to the frame before the painting is placed inside.

  2. Do not hang your painting in direct sunlight as this will cause fading over time.

  3. If you hang your painting on a wall in a dark room, then it might be a good idea to get a picture light put above the portrait to light it up. A daylight bulb is recommended to ensure the colours stay true, as some bulbs give off a blue or yellow light which will make your portrait look discoloured.

  4. Keep your painting away from moisture as this can damage the paper and encourage mould to grow. Paintings should not be hung in any humid areas especially bathrooms or near your cooker and hob. Outside walls, basement walls and stone or concrete walls may transmit dampness, so avoid hanging your painting on them. An interior wall without nearby windows is ideal. Bedrooms, sitting rooms and hallways are often the best places for your painting.


Thank you for taking the time to read this important information.


Enjoy your painting!


Fiona Dillon Art


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