Your painting has been created with a water soluble beeswax paint.
Encaustic paintings have a long history, used throughout ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures. Encaustic means ‘to burn in’, that happens when the paint is fused by a heat source. The durability of beeswax makes it resistant to moisture and will not break down or yellow and darken over time. Encaustic paintings are naturally archival and do not need to be varnished or protected by glass.
Avoid direct sunlight
As with any artwork, keep out of direct sunlight.
Hang and store at normal room temperatures. Avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures; wax will melt at 150°F / 65°C. Temperatures below 40 degrees as cold can make the wax brittle and susceptible to cracking.
Use care when hanging, transporting or storing your encaustic painting, as you would any fine art. 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.
Wax is soft and has low scratch resistance so use care to not bump or brush the front of the painting when handling or storing. Use the wood cross bars on the back of the panel, or the cradled wood edges when handling.
The genuine 24 k gold leaf will not tarnish. In order to be more energetically permeable the gold leaf does not have any varnish on top of it. This too has low scratch resistance and will get worn back by abrasive surfaces or rubbing. If liquid gets splashed on any part of the painting, gently blot with a soft cloth. Do not rub or wipe as this can damage the surface of the painting.
A hot car is not a friend to your encaustic artwork! When packing encaustic art for transportation, cover the face of the painting with wax paper. Do not use bubble wrap directly on the front of the painting as it may leave an imprint on the surface. I often wrap the paintings in a soft blanket when moving them around to protect the painted surface and the edges.
After completion of an encaustic piece of art, there is a curing process of a few months. Encaustic paintings can be buffed to a high gloss using a soft, lint-free cloth. If the original sheen has become dull over time, it can be brought back by gently repeating the buffing process.
Do not buff the 24k gold surface.
If your painting has gotten dusty, simply wipe it with a soft microfiber cloth. Do not apply pressure to the surface. Gently just wipe off any dust off the painting and the 24k gold.
Water-soluble wax paint is durable, as attested by the present state of preservation of Roman and Roman-Egyptian paintings of the first century in many museums throughout the world. The wax is a natural preservative, moisture resistant, repels mildew and insects, plus it’s solvent free. So with the proper care, your encaustic work of art will remain as fresh as the day it was painted.