Encaustic Care

Mixed Media EncausticCare for your encaustic painting
Encaustic is a beeswax based paint that consists of beeswax, dammar resin (crystallized tree sap), and pigment. It is kept molten on a heated palette, applied to a surface and reheated to fuse the paint into a uniform enamel-like finish. 

Encaustic is one of the most archival mediums but it does require some care and consideration. These paintings are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. The wax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving a painting in a car on a hot day would not be advisable or hanging a painting in front of a window with direct desert-like sun. They are also sensitive to freezing cold temperatures.

Always protect the surface and edges of the encaustic painting when moving.  Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic paintings can be scratched, gouged, or chipped if handled roughly.  When being handled, special care is advised to the edges and corners. Fortunately encaustic is very repairable and can usually be easily repaired if damaged.  

Installation of an encaustic painting is no different than any other valued piece of art. It is not necessary to put your encaustic artwork under glass as glass may stick to the surface. If you would like to frame your artwork I would suggest a float frame. 

Encaustic paintings are extremely durable due to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture. Because of this it will not deteriorate, it will not yellow, and it will not darken.  Examples of encaustic paintings have survived from the Greek and Roman empires and are still as vibrant and colorful today as they were when they were painted.  

Encaustic paint will continue to cure and harden after completion; in this process the surface may lose some of its original luster and sheen. The finish can be easily restored by gently buffing the surface with a soft lint free cotton cloth.

If you have any question or need your painting repaired in any way please feel free to contact me.