It’s one thing to teach your kids not to play rough around your favorite painting hanging in your house, but it would probably be a lot harder to teach your pets the same thing. Even the most well-behaved dog doesn’t know the value of a painting, and accidents can happen.
Just look at this painting below. As a man and a woman were redoing the inside of their home, they took down their painting and set it on the ground for a second. In that second that the painting was lying on the ground, their dog walked by, and not knowing what it was, stepped on the painting, creating this huge tear!
The poor dog didn’t know any better, but this unfortunate accident could have been prevented. With any type of pet around the house (cats, dogs, birds) you always want to be extra cautious!
One of the big mistakes that this couple made was placing their painting on the ground. When setting aside a painting, you never want to just leave it lying on the ground- vulnerable to people’s feet, furniture sliding around, or dogs walking by. If you’re just setting your piece to the side for a short amount of time, make sure to prop it up against something sturdy. It’s a good idea to lean it on a piece of cardboard and to put another piece of cardboard against the back as well. This will help prevent any feet from kicking into and tearing the canvas. Even with these precautions however, you want to keep your painting in a low traffic area, just to be safe.
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Our main business is the preservation and restoration of artwork and at any given time, we can have several items in the lab that have been damaged by house pets. Many times the damage to treasured valuable collectibles occurs when the owner tries to transport heirlooms and pets at the same time. The results can be expensive to remedy, the last rip in a painting that we repaired was caused by an Australian Cattle dog which cost $3,500.00 to restore back to great condition.
If you think a minute about it, your family heirlooms and treasured family history items tell the story of your family and are of heartfelt importance for generations of people. They trigger memories and document your family’s legacy. Your house pets are also a heartfelt emotional part of your life. It could be tragic for either to be badly damaged, lost or destroyed. Yet, these two parts of your life are usually not insurable against fires, water damage etc! How can you replace the family bible… and you can’t replace, exactly, your sweet therapy cat that curls up in your lap. It’s worth the effort to think ahead, prepare such important parts of your family for an emergency and feel the emotional peace of having taken action.
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Accidental stepping or kicking into isn’t the only cause of rips and tears in paintings. Another thing to be cautious about is the way you hang your painting! If not hung properly and sturdily, your kid or your dog or even you could run into the wall and cause a disaster. If your wires aren’t properly placed, they can tear the painting as well. Here are some things to remember when hanging a painting from a wall:
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-Quality and large eye hangers that hold the wire.
-Thick wire, preferable plastic coated
-Nail in wall hits a stud. If not, use a multi nail hanger made for drywall.
-Use the largest hanger possible
-Use Museum Wax in the lower two corners to anchor the painting against the wall and so it won’t “jump” off the hook when things start to shake.
Following these tips won’t guarantee that your painting won’t rip in any situation, but following them will greatly reduce the chances that a similar accident will happen. Accidents happen at any moment in the most random ways, that’s why they’re called accidents! While you can’t always prevent them from happening, being cautious will help the amount of damage and cost resulting from them.
To check out more ways you can save your stuff, click this link to Scott Haskins’ YouTube channel and press “Subscribe”! https://www.youtube.com/user/bestartdoc/videos
How we repair a ripped fine art painting: https://www.fineartconservationlab.com/in-lab/badly-ripped-gorgeous-oil-painting-by-colin-campbell-cooper-repaired/
Birds can get rowdy too!
Contact Scott M. Haskins, Oriana Montemurro, Virginia Panizzon
805 564 3438
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