When we look at the restoration of a picture there are many considerations to take into account before decisions are made.
Material / Canvas
We need to look at the material which the painting has been painted onto and the type of paint used. Most surfaces are stable and can be worked onto directly although in some cases if the picture is painted onto old canvas it may have to be adhered to a new piece of fabric.
Most discolouration is due to the old varnish deepening in colour to a golden yellow or a dark treacle tone which is a problem caused by the composition of some old varnishes. We will usually clean a small test corner to see if we are likely to encounter any problems before proceeding with the full cleaning process.
It may be that old paint has darkened which is much more of a problem and is often caused by old cigarette smoke.
If the canvas is old and not stable it may have to be adhered onto a new piece, a process called “back lining”, or holes patched with new canvas.
Once the cleaning process is finished the picture will be left to dry for a few days and then finished with a coat of varnish which will have a gloss, satin or matt finish.