How exciting! You've purchased your first original artwork and now it's time to hang it up on your lovely home walls. I remember that feeling.
But before you do that, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here's a quick walk-through of what you should remember.
Oil paintings (specifically) can last over many lifetimes and still be vibrant due to its quality. Other painting (contrary to popular thoughts) can last just as long, it just takes some caution for both oil paintings and other mediums.
When handling a painting, make sure that there is nothing on your body that is likely to scratch or tear or stain the painting. Always hold the painting from both vertical sides. Do not hold the painting by the top of the frame or the hanging wire, to avoid swinging and possibly hitting something that it shouldn't. Avoid removing your painting out of the frame, unless, you're re-framing it. Even then, I suggest you do it with a professional or be very very careful.
Avoid direct sunlight at all costs on all your paintings. This can cause quick fading of colors on your painting and will decrease its lifetime. Ultraviolet lights can cause discoloration in all paintings. Try to keep ALL direct lights at least 10 feet away. Custom made painting display lights are fine.
You do not have to go crazy on this one. As long as your painting is not being hung outside, for the most part, you're okay. Fast changes in temperature may cause the painting to stretch or shrink. Keep painting away from heat sources like fire places.
Avoid hanging the painting where people may bump into it. When hanging a painting on wall hooks, make sure that the wall hooks are driven into the wall studs for maximum stability. For large, heavy paintings, particularly those with a thick and deep frame, use a bracket under the painting to support its weight. Avoid storing paintings in rooms with excessive humidity (i.e. attic, basement) as this can cause mold to form on the painting. While oil paintings are remarkably durable, they are certainly not invulnerable.
If not framed, make sure to dust your painting regularly to avoid a build-up of dust. Use a clean soft artist brush to clean it. If framed, dust away from the front glass and sides of the painting. Remember to be very careful. Do not use moist cloth. If the painting has texture, be gentle cleaning the lumps of paint.
Finally, oil paintings are remarkably durable, and other mediums can be just as durable with lots of love and attention and definitely with proper framing. This is the reason we are able to view paintings from centuries ago in a museum.
Take good care of your new artwork, and it may be passed down to multiple generations.