Caring for Your Encaustic Art - It’s not Fragile!

WATCH the video below to see the effect of buffing in raising the shine on a dulled piece of encaustic art!!

You won’t believe the before & after!

If you are new to encaustic artwork you might love the texture and shine but be concerned about how to care for it. It’s based in beeswax, after all! Will it melt? Is it sticky? No!

There are just 2 keys to caring for encaustic artwork, and all are easy:

  1. Keep the art out of direct sunlight

    • Hang it in a bright room or a romantically dim room - anything goes! Just choose a wall that isn’t in the path of direct sun light.

    • Your art can be lit with natural or artificial light. An ingredient in the encaustic called damar resin raises the melting point of the wax to over 165F - not a problem! The resin also makes the surface glossy and hard.

    • Direct sunlight falling on a piece even through a window can raise the surface temperature to the point where it softens, so this is the number one consideration on hanging your artwork.

  2. Buff the surface occasionally with a soft, lint-free cloth for a high shine

    • The beauty of encaustic artwork is the reflection of light from its glossy surface; it even enhances the textured areas by reflecting light from the high points.

    • During the first 6 months to a year after an encaustic artwork is created, the surface can show ‘bloom’, or a slighly dull/dusty looking finish. This is a natural part of the curing process of the material. Rest assured that bloom is not a problem: YOUR ARTWORK IS SAFE AND WILL NOT CHANGE IN ANY WAY!

    • How to remove the bloom? Buff (gently polish) it away with a soft cloth.

    • Old t-shirts, a soft rag and even old nylons make great buffing cloths. As long as there is no nap (eg, microfiber or terrycloth) and the cloth is lint-free, it will work wonders. I keep old pajamas and t-shirts in the studio for this purpose.