Humidity and Oil Painting?

My husband, young son and I are being transfered to Austin Texas. Does anyone know how my oil painting is going to go down there in terms of drying because of the humidity? We are from California, and not sure how this whole humidity thing works. I mean i guess the air is moist? does that mean my furniture is going to be wet and moldy? LoL, what are we getting ourselves into? =)

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    High humidity will definitely slow the drying time of your art. Especially your yellows and blues.

    Remember oil paints are oxygenated and dry by air and not by heat so don't let anyone tell you that an oven can help dry your painting, cause all it will do is burn your paint. HAHA still cracks me up that people do that.

    Here is some info for you concerning your question:


    Extremes and fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause damage to paintings due to the expansion and contraction of the wood and fabric components of the painting. Wood and fabric absorb moisture which causes them to swell on humid days and conversely shrink on dry days. Paint, however, is not as resilient and can crack and flake off as a result of expansion and contraction of the underlying wood and fabric structure. These dimensional changes can cause the canvas to become slack and sag during the winter months.

    Most fabric paintings are secured to a wooden frame that is commonly referred to as a stretcher or strainer. Stretchers are equipped with expandable corner joints that can be adjusted to insure that the painting remains taught. The joints can be expanded by driving small wooden wedges into the interior corners of the stretcher at the back of the painting. This procedure is commonly referred to as "keying out" a painting. Paintings should not be keyed out during the winter months when the humidity is low. The increased tension caused by keying out may cause the painting to tear as the wooden stretcher expands during the humid spring and summer months.

    The proper display and storage of paintings can be achieved by monitoring the environment in various rooms in order to identify the best area for display or storage of paintings. Acceptable temperature and humidity levels for paintings are as follows, keeping in mind that fluctuations should be kept to a minimum.

    Winter Temperature 65-70 degrees F

    Relative Humidity 40%-45%

    Summer Temperature 70-75 degrees F

    Relative Humidity 45-55%

    Inexpensive temperature and humidity sensors can be purchased from conservation suppliers. While precise control of temperature and humidity is desirable, it is not always practical in homes. Therefore, damage should be minimized by avoiding extremes in temperature and humidity. This can be done by insuring that paintings are kept away from heat sources such as furnace vents, fire places, warm lights and direct sunlight.

    Excessive humidity, as can be found in most basements, should also be avoided since it can cause mold growth that can stain the surface of the painting.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Humidity should not affect your oil painting drying time, since oil doesn't dry by drying but by oxidation. The temperature might affect the drying time slightly, but humidity does not. If you would paint in acrylics or water colors it might have ab affect. But oil does not mix with water therfore humidity has no affect.

    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I don't live in Austin, but pretty close, i live in San Antonio Texas. I am an artist who does oil painting, and i don't know where you heard or got your info regarding our weather but i can assure you, you have nothing to worry about. My art can be checked out at under artist name ''Guerro''.

  • 1 decade ago

    Check it out

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