The Basics Of Oil Painting Restoration

Oftentimes, the color of old paintings and framed art pieces will begin to develop a brown and yellowish tint. And this is caused by the organic varnish that was once applied to protect the painting. Once the varnish begins to discolor, it also causes the art piece to become so opaque to the point that it’s almost disappeared.

This is when the process of restoration is needed to bring back the painting to its previous beautiful state.

Get to know more about the basics of painting restoration in this post and learn how the experts restore stunning artworks like magic.

Step 1: Preparation

Before and After A Painting Restoration
Before and After A Painting Restoration

The first thing to do is to prepare the materials you will need for the painting restoration. And these materials are the following:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton balls
  • Tissue paper
  • Paintbrushes of different size and texture
  • Vacuum hot table
  • Wax adhesive
  • Non-yellowing synthetic varnish
  • Solvent
  • Canvas inserts (Gesso)

Note: Solvents and varnish to be used must be synthetic to ensure optimal results.

Step 2 : Solvent Test

A solvent test will be conducted at the small area of the painting to determine if any foreign objects like dust and dirt can be removed safely without affecting the quality of the painted canvas. This is done by dabbing a certain portion of the artwork and see how a foreign material will react to the solvent solution.

Once done, the conservator will then use cotton swabs to clean the remaining dirt on the surface as well as discolored varnish without causing any disturbance to the art work’s layers of paint.

Step 3: Stabilize The “Facing” Of The Painting

If the paint of the art piece is flaking, the art conservator will use tissue paper and adhesive to stabilize the art work’s “facing”. As for the holes or tears on the canvas, the conservator will then fill these areas with canvas inserts or gesso.

Step 4: Application Of Wax Adhesive

The conservator will then apply a coat of wax adhesive and then place it over a vacuum hot-table to spread over a new layer of fiberglass or linen. After this, the wax facing is then removed.

Step 5: Application Of Non-Yellowing Synthetic Varnish

And the last part of the painting restoration process is the application of non-yellowing synthetic varnish. This is necessary to separate the original painting masterpiece from any restorative work that will be done.

Then, the conservator will carefully fill canvas inserts or gesso to any holes and then paint them with dry pigment (must be of the same color as the damaged area of the painting) mixed with non-yellowing solvents.

Looking for quality restored oil paintings online? Check out The Original Artwork Store’s painting gallery for more information.

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