Paint Basket Art Forum

Other => Anything Arty => Topic started by: dennis on July 12, 2010, 06:42:03 AM

Title: Painting Restoration
Post by: dennis on July 12, 2010, 06:42:03 AM

Every once in a while the chances are that you will be requested to fix up/restore a damaged or dirty painting to its original (almost) condition.


My advice is - if in doubt, DON'T!! The reason? Restoration is a specialized profession. There are too many variations and aspects to be taken into account. Specialist Restorers study to be able to do their work. Do you have lots of patience? If not, once again, DON'T. Proper restoration can be a very time consuming job. I have been doing minor restoration and repairs for quite a few years now and still I have to do a few tests on the painting before I even accept the job.

Description of Painting

This particular painting was very old, with a slight deterioration of the stretched canvas itself. The back of the canvas had to be firmly supported to enable me to apply the necessary pressure during the process. The painting was heavily covered with grime and dirt. Also there was a sticky nicotene layer from being years in a smoke-filled enviroment.

The picture size was 350mm x 250mm and came in a highly damaged frame that had been hand-painted several times with gold paint. The corners were damaged and splitting apart. The final picture shows the new frame chosen to enhance this delightful floral still life.

Advice Withheld

This article is not a "How-to-do-it"; as a result of this I will not be telling you how I cleaned up this painting. This is just a "before and after" article. Sorry, no secrets here this time! I would hate to hear that you ruined someone's valuable masterpiece because of advice given here and wrongly applied. Here I am just showing what a difference there is between the original dirty painting and the completed clean painting, and what it looked like when I handed it back to it's owner.


After the initial tests, I began cleaning the one daisy. Just the right hand side has been cleaned at this stage. Above is a close up of the flowers.


After the flowers were cleaned a start was made on the vase.

The background was then painstakingly cleaned up, working in small controlled areas from the right to the left of the painting (I'm right handed), Care was taken not to move the dirt from one area to another.

( (

Notice how much more vivid the colors are in the final stage compared to the first picture on the left.

No Signature

There is no signature to this painting. Who knows? this could be a very valuable painting! In fact, I would not mind owning this painting myself. One thing bothers me a lot though. Why is it that some artists are so afraid to sign their works of art? Why are they scared to? One should NEVER be ashamed to sign one's work, even if one thinks they are not worth it (don't be too negative about yourself). Just take a look at Leonardo di Vinci's scraps of paper. You and I could never afford to buy even the smallest scrap!!!!

Sign, date, and look after all your scraps and "worthless" works of art! You may even become a second di Vinci sometime.
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal