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A pastel portrait is fragile as long as it remains unframed. A pastel painting or drawing, therefore, needs to be framed behind glass as soon as possible to protect it. Unframed pastel paintings should be stored flat, with sheets of glassine paper over them to protect them from smudging. Store your painting in a sturdy folder to keep them flat or put them in a drawer.


Take care finding a framer who knows how to deal with pastel paintings. There are framers out there who have no idea what they are doing with pastels, despite trade organisations' accreditations. Make sure to check reviews before contacting a framer.        

DO IT YOURSELF                                                         

If you absolutely cannot afford a professional framer, here are some tips for framing it yourself. There are plenty of online shops where you can buy frames (made to order or standard sizes) and mounts.

  • Get a frame deep enough to hold the glazing (glass), a mat board, spacers the work and a backing board. Frames made for oil paintings work well.

  • Pastel should never touch the glass in a frame. Use an ACID-FREE MAT to prevent this from happening.

  • Use a thin spacer between the mat board and the art. These can be thin strips of acid-free foam core, mat-board or small rubber spacers made for pastel framing.

  • Use UV blocking museum quality glass or glare-free glass if possible.

  • NEVER use acrylic sheets or plexiglass for your pastels. These can create an electrical charge that will pull tiny dust particles from the surface of your pastel and cause them to stick to the acrylic or plexiglass, causing a dirty haze.

  • ALWAYS use a dust cover on the back of the framed art. This is usually a piece of brown butcher paper cut to the frame's size and taped tightly to the back to seal out unwanted dust and critters from getting into the frame.

  • Once framed, DO NOT hammer any hardware to the back of the frame as this will dislodge the pastel from the surface, creating dust inside the frame. NEVER transport a pastel face down.

  •  There are many YouTube videos and advice on how to do this online.                                                       



As with any fine work of art, it is advised not to place a pastel painting in direct sunlight. Moreover, pastel paintings are susceptible to moisture.  

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