WHAT IS ENCAUSTIC?
Encaustic is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural bees wax and dammar resin (crystallized tree sap).
CARE OF YOUR ENCAUSTIC PAINTINGS
People often ask "Will it melt?". The melting point of wax is between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your paintings are melting your house is likely on fire. However as with any fine art, you should keep your paintings away from extreme heat and cold so do not hang anywhere that receives direct sunlight.
Be aware that for some time the surface of the painting will develop a natural whitish dust known as "Bloom". Wipe with a soft, lint-free damp rag to dust and polish with any soft, dry, lint-free cloth to bring out the luminosity of the painting.
Avoid contact with sharp objects including fingernails as the surface of the painting is susceptible to scratching. Scratches cannot totally be removed without the artist’s intervention and minor scratches are best left alone.
When transporting your encaustic painting, the piece must be wrapped well. For a major move, wrap the work well in wax paper and bubble paper and box it. Do not leave it in your car for extended periods as heat buildup on a hot day could begin to melt the painting. Extreme cold can be almost as bad, as wax may separate from the braced panel.