Restoring an Oil Painting

by Sep 29, 2020Restoration

Restoring an oil painting – a multi skilled job

Restoring an oil painting requires a range of skills and techniques. The first task is to identify exactly what needs to be done in order to restore the picture to its former glory.

In this post we are going to look at the cleaning of an oil painting that is quite dirty, and in the next we will walk through repairing the frame as this is damaged and missing some pieces.

Cleaning an oil painting

Here we have an oil painting in need of some TLC. As you can see the picture is quite dirty and needs a good clean.

So the restorer is going to show an oil painting can be cleaned and restored if there are any cracks or flaky paint.

In this case all that is needed is a deep clean.

This first picture shows the oil painting in its frame before any work has started, and you see quite clearly how dirty the picture is. It’s a lovely hilly country side scene with sheep . 

oil painting in the frame before restoration

See how dirty and damaged  it is…

These pictures show how dirty the painting is and how the frame has been damaged in multiple places.

First, take it out of the frame

First the oil painting is removed from its frame so work on the cleaning can start.

In this case the restorer is going to clean half the picture to show the difference cleaning can make.

This is the progress so far and as you can see the right side of the oil painting has had a light clean with a mild picture cleaner. This is done by starting in a corner with a cotton bud in a circular motion to see how much dirt can be removed, this takes time and patience.

If the dirt is more ingrained in to the surface then a much stronger blend is needed to remove the dirt.

Right half of the painting has been cleaned to show the difference

Cleaned, in close-up

These images show closeups of the picture allowing you to see the difference the cleaning process can make.

This looks so much better with a light clean, in this case the light clean is all this picture needs.

You can see a difference once time has been spent on cleaning. However, sometimes it’s difficult to clean an oil painting depending on the age and where it’s been stored.

You never quite know what you are going to find once you start cleaning a painting.

If you have a painting that has been hanging for a long time or stored somewhere, or from an inheritance, and it needs a repair or cleaning then please just give us a call or email in some pictures of the painting we will either ask you to bring in the picture or arrange to see the painting to be able to give you a quote.

Telephone Gadsby’s on: 01162 517793

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