View Full Version : Help HELP HEEELLLLPPP Pastels EVERYWHERE!! Need Storage!

06-26-2009, 03:08 PM
LOL I seriously need some advice on pastel painting storage! I have pastels tapped on all of my walls and in folders and in piles stacked and in on old dresser LOL I am trying to find a safe rack for storage. Any ideas?? I would like it to be closed in so that they are protected. I think I will mount them onto acid free foam-core then cover the faces with wax paper to store them. I am worried that some are getting damaged with the lack of framing. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!! I love pastels way too much for my own good LOL no matter what medums I use I always seem to come back to them and they are soo hard to frame or even keep safe that it's very discouraging. Thanks!!

p.s. I was thinking I could make some sort of upright box with masonite if worse came to worse.

06-26-2009, 03:30 PM
I put them in Crystal Clear bags and just store them in inexpensive portfolios. The bags protect them and the portfolios don't take up a lot of space.

Paula Ford
06-26-2009, 04:08 PM
Put a couple of pieces of tape on the backs, stick them to foamboard, and drape either glassine or tracing paper over the top and tape it securely to the back of the board. That way you can see the paintings, and it will protect them and you can get more than one painting on a board.

06-26-2009, 05:19 PM
I, too tape them to foam board, and put tracing paper over the painting. A storage rack would be nice, but my foam boards are then stacked vertically in a closet and along one wall of my "studio."


06-26-2009, 05:25 PM
Thanks for the suggestions :-) I am thinking of some sort of racking system maybe even with closed doors. Unfortunately at this time I am stuck working in my apartment with limited space so a rack would really help. I am just wondering if there are blueprints on the net that I could build something. I thought I saw some for sale online but of course they are quite costly and still not exactly what I had in mind. :confused:

Tracy Lang
06-26-2009, 06:06 PM
Hi Erin,
Here is a link to an older thread that has lots of great information:http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316729

I have some paintings taped to my walls and the rest in the Crystal bags,vertically.


Deborah Secor
06-26-2009, 06:26 PM
Erin, whatever you do, DON'T use waxed paper. It can too easily leave a waxy coating that discolors and stains, especially if it gets too hot.

For years I stored paintings on foam board with plain old newsprint taped down over the top. I piled them up flat and stored them in my cabinet on shelves. There was no damage to them from that, but they took up a lot of space, I couldn't see the image (glassine cures that), and sometimes the tape became brittle or stuck to the edges of the paintings.

Now I do as Mike suggests and use Crystal Clear bags. www.clearbags.com They're not wildly expensive, they don't damage the work (I tape the edges back so the painting won't slip around) and they're low static. I can see and handle the paintings, they store flat in my portfolio or over on a shelf, OR you can hang them on pants hangers in the closet or on a clothing or dryer rack. These have really solved a lot of problems and made more space in my little studio.

Hope some of these ideas help...


Donna A
06-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Hi, ErinEmily! I keep mine taped with Artist's Tape (acid-free! white tape in several widths) to a pH-balanced foamcore board with 5-mil Mylar (clear plastic acetate) over it. They will stack wonderfully or can be pinned up on the wall (which seems like no longer an option for you!)

For the ones you want to tuck away, you might simply remove it from your backing board and use Artists Tape to tape the mylar to the surface---just across the top will do---and you can store a LOT of paintings that way! If you lap the Artists Tape partly over the mylar at the top of the painting and the rest bent over to the back of the painting's paper, it will hold in place and won't hurt the paper.

I consider Artists Tape a blessing---as well as the mylar!

I typically keep a sheet of mylar taped to pH-balanced foamcore board and on to that I tape the paper I'm working on. I work on several pieces at a time and this way I can observe the piece(s) in progress thru the mylar even when I'm not working on it. I get ideas about solutions to pieces that NEED solutions!

AND most importantly perhaps---I found some years ago that all the pieces that I'd carted around back and forth to the IAPS Convention demos and for other programs and workshops that those paintings that were safe under the mylar fared drastically better than that stored under glassine!!!

The glassine wrinkles so easily---and artists who study with me who still use glassine so often have wrinkles in their glassine (as I did!) and the parts---the wrinkles---that touch the paintings will rub against it while the wrinkles that are bent away from the painting don't touch! I sooo much prefer the 5-mil mylar (acetate!!!!) that does not wrinkle---stays flat---and simply protects the painting! I do get a touch of pastel coming off against the mylar when I've had heavy concentrations---but it is a very sheer bit of color and has never ever ever done any harm to the paintings at all! Yea!!!

You can buy mylar---or acetate, which is the general name!---in rolls or individual sheets at an art store. It is a great investment and can be reused so many times!!!

Very best wishes!!! Donna ;-}

06-27-2009, 11:48 AM
Wow everyone, thank you so much for the input!!! I have a better idea of what I am going to do to store them. I will still look for a rack system or cabinet or floating cupboard of some sort. Mylar or Glassine instead of wax paper is a good point. I have never seen wax paper get melty but I really never want to so thank you for the heads up.

eeekkk now to tackle framing! LOL Gotta love pastels... :wink2::heart:

Kathryn Wilson
06-27-2009, 12:57 PM
I have an even better idea - put them into clear bags, taped to foam core, with glassine paper over and then hang them on hangers. I use spring clips to clip them to a hanger - much less space taken up and cheaper too!

06-27-2009, 09:44 PM
You could make one or two appropriately oversized versions of this storage box (http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Cardboard-Magazine-Box/). The paintings, taped to foamboard, and in clear bags, could be stored in them vertically. Like magazines. Instead of sandwiched horizontally in a portfolio (http://www.dickblick.com/products/cachet-studio-portfolios/).


06-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Thank you for this thread. It has given me quite a few ideas. I have loads of pastels and no room on my walls. At the moment they're sitting in a drawer with tissue paper taped over them. Never occurred to me to store them vertically (doh)!

06-28-2009, 06:40 PM
I keep smaller paintings interleaved in a pad of tracing paper that is the same size. Seems to work fine, of course I don't have a huge stack of them, and the larger ones I keep in a plastic under-the-bed storage box with glassine between.

06-29-2009, 05:54 PM
I have clear bags but was afraid they would pull the pastel off if I decided to take it out and frame it. Have any of you that have used this method of storage found a problem along those lines? I am currently using the glassine but noticed like others the creases in the paper cause marks in the pastel.