How to Care for Your Photo Encaustic Pieces / by Jim Sincock

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The encaustic process uses beeswax and damar resin to coat the photo. Under normal temperatures the beeswax is stable, but beeswax does melt at around 160°. Do not hang your encaustic piece in direct sunlight, near a fireplace or any other source of heat. Be careful not to subject your piece to temperatures below 40 degrees as cold can make the wax brittle and susceptible to cracking.

Encaustic photographs do not need to be varnished or protected by glass. Always protect the surface and edges when moving, especially if there is a wax overhang at the edges. Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic works can be easily scratched, gouged, or chipped if handled roughly. Handled properly the surface is extremely durable as beeswax is impervious to moisture and the encased image will not deteriorate, yellow or fade.

After completing an encaustic piece, the curing process often leaves a dull look to the surface. This is actually the look I prefer, but some want a shinier look. The wax can be gently buffed with a soft cotton or flannel rag to give it a shinier look, if desired. The piece can also be gently dusted as needed with a soft cotton or flannel rag.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the care of your encaustic image.