Why does sunlight damage paintings?

Sun protection for valuable works of art - this is how paintings last longer

Hardly any wall decoration is as valuable as a hand-painted picture - especially not if it comes from a well-known and popular artist. So that you can enjoy the beauty of your paintings for a long time, you have to consider a few things when it comes to “storage”. Sunlight is an important and significant factor in this. Too much solar radiation can have a long-term negative effect on the quality of art objects. We'll tell you how you can counteract a significant loss of value with the right sun protection for valuable works of art.

Why is direct sunlight harmful to works of art?


Quite simply: They contain harmful UVA and UVB rays. What is dangerous for us humans is also harmful for pictures. Too much sun bleaches fibers and materials and affects the texture.

How harmful are UV rays to art objects?


UV radiation has been shown to destroy cells and thus color pigments and structures. This destruction process lasts for a certain time and is not immediately visible. When it comes to paintings, that's a big difference to us humans. If we are exposed to the sun for a period of a few hours without protection, the skin reddens and the damage process is not only noticeable visually. A sunburn can sometimes be very painful. In the case of a painting, on the other hand, these processes are not immediately recognizable. But even if it cannot be seen with the naked eye, the work of art can be damaged by too much UV radiation. These deep-seated changes are usually recognized by art examiners and the value of the painting drops significantly.

How can you ensure sun protection for valuable works of art?


  • Away from the window: the big museums literally show how it is. All historical works of art stand or hang in rooms without windows. Since this is of course not so easy to implement at home, it is not worth keeping the corresponding art objects near a window. It is best to also pay attention to the course and position of the sun over the day and of course with the change of the seasons.
  • Avoid direct sun as much as possible: If you have no way of keeping pictures out of direct sunlight, choose a place where the sun gets as little as possible. For example, you can choose a place where the sun only shines very early or only very late. Then the rays are not quite as strong as in the middle of the day.
  • Darken the room: this possibility is obvious. With dark curtains or roller blinds, you always keep the harmful rays outside. But unfortunately that also means bright daylight.
  • Use window film: This solves a large number of the above problems in one fell swoop and is also independent of the choice of seat. The right window film keeps up to 99% UV radiation away and, depending on the type of film, receives valuable daylight. With sun protection film you also get a heat inhibitor and can save energy costs. UV protection films are almost transparent and are hardly noticeable.

Where can the window film be used to protect works of art?


Actually almost everywhere where there is a need. It doesn't matter whether it's a museum or an enthusiastic hobby art collector. It is only important that you choose the right film for the right type of window. You will find the relevant information in every product description.