HOW-TO: Spring Clean your artwork

HOW-TO: Spring Clean your artwork

Do you sometimes wonder about the best way to take care of your artwork? Melanie-Jane has a few tips on the best practises she uses to keep artwork clean and maintained in this handy guide to spring cleaning framed pieces, sculptural works and glass art.

To clean and maintain any hung artwork, we suggest you first remove it from the wall and place it on a flat surface.


Our example is a X Huia framed artwork by Aimee Gruar. The Huia feathers have been created from carefully sourced and repurposed vintage fabrics. 
To clean artwork framed with a glass face, choose a microfibre or other lint-free cloth. 
Use any glass cleaner that does not contain ammonia and always spray onto the cloth, NOT the glass.
Carefully clean the glass front, then gently wipe over the frame.


    Our first example is a Michele Bryant resin plane that has maps etched into the surface, creating a relief surface with a fabulous textural quality.

    Clean etched artworks with a clean, dry paintbrush

    We suggest you maintain these works annually using a clean, dry paintbrush. Do not use anything that might be abrasive to the artwork.

    Gently go over all of the etched areas, brushing away any dust or grit.

    Alternatively, you can use a purpose-made glass cleaning cloth to gently clean etched works.

    The second sculptural example shown below is an original artwork by Hikurangi Edwards. Hikurangi’s piece has been created with around 40 layers of paint that she then carves into, revealing the colours below.

    Use a clean, dry paintbrush to brush away dust that may gather in the carved areas.

    For the carved piece, once again we suggest using a clean, dry paintbrush that you reserve for this purpose.

    Simply trace along the lines of the artwork with the brush, brushing away dust and debris that may have collected.


    Cleaning glass can be a little intimidating, but just take the piece to a clean, flat surface for the best way to keep you and the piece safe.

    Use glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to gently clean glass.

    The first example here is an incredible 'Offering' sculpture by Greg Swinburne.
    Melanie-Jane prefers not to wear gloves to clean glass, so she can maintain a good grip on the piece.
    Use s clean, soft cloth such as microfibre or other lint-free cloth.
    Using glass cleaner, spray onto the cloth, NOT the glass.
    Wipe over the piece gently and thoroughly to remove dust.
    Place the piece back into its spot, then carefully wipe again to remove any fingerprints you may have left behind.
      Our second example of how to clean glass art uses a beautiful glass tumbler by Anthony Genet.
      Wash glass art used with food in warm, not hot soapy water.
      For glass items used with food such as tumblers, Melanie-Jane advises washing the piece in WARM water with suds. NOTE: Do not use hot or cold water as this may damage the glass or cause it to break.
      In store, Melanie-Jane uses the same method as previous - a clean soft cloth and glass cleaner - to polish items on display.
      There you have it! We think these are the best and easiest ways to spring clean your artworks and keep them beautifully maintained long term. Thanks for joining us, ngā mihi.