How to Care for Your Encaustic Painting

Because encaustic art is wax based, you might be worried that your painting will melt if it gets too hot or shatter if it gets too cold. Both are possibilities, but you need not fear. 

Encaustic paint is stable in temperatures ~40° - ~120°F. Freezing temperatures can cause the wax to become brittle, and if dropped, the painting can shatter. Between 120° - 150° the wax will become soft; the wax liquifies at ~160°.

If the painting get's too cold or too hot without disturbing the image, the wax will return to a stable state when the temperature returns to the normal range without damage to artwork.


Do not hang your painting in direct sunlight. This is true of any piece of fine art, but with encaustic doubly so. If you have any doubts feel the surface of the painting. It should always be cool to the touch.


Encaustic art should be shiny. A recently finished piece has not had time to cure and harden (which can take 6 months or more). During this time it will have a glossy look. As it ages it will have a more matte finish. When this happens take a soft, lint-free cotton cloth and buff the painting gently. Be sure not to buff too hard and create heat.


If you need to transport your art simply cover the surface with wax paper and some form of insulation. If you are transporting the artwork in hot weather be sure to allow the piece to cool to room temperature before removing the wax paper to avoid damaging the surface. 


Download a PDF: How to Care for Your Encaustic Painting