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Under normal temperatures a beeswax (encaustic) painting is stable. However, it can melt at high temperatures—about 150 degrees—and care should be taken to hang the work away from direct sunlight, fireplaces, or any other source of heat. You should also be careful not to subject your piece to temperatures below 40 degrees as cold can make the wax brittle and susceptible to cracking.
When handled properly, the surface of an encaustic painting is extremely durable. Because beeswax is impervious to moisture, the encased image will not deteriorate, yellow or fade and you do not have to protect it with glass. However, when moving your artwork, you should always protect the surface and edges. Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic works can be easily scratched, gouged, or chipped if handled roughly.
After completion of an encaustic piece of art, there is a curing process of a few months. During this time moisture will work its way to the surface and may cause a slight haze called “bloom.” If your artwork looks dull or cloudy it can be buffed gently (firmly but not overly vigorously) using a fine pair of clean panty hose. If the bloom reoccurs repeat the buffing process. After two to three times, the bloom will stop occurring. Your mixed media piece may have been created more than a few months ago, in which case it will not experience blooming and will not need this step.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the care of your artwork.