How to Clean an Oil Painting Yourself
Old oil painting most often comes with a price so it must be taken care of seriously. While in this present world there are lot of pollution, dust, heat, etc. which can destroy your high value paintings. One way of taking good care of your painting is to clean it often. Cleaning an old oil painting is a crucial task because if not done well it can damage its oil paint canvas and may decrease the value of your painting. Therefore, in order to keep value of your painting and make sure that nothing wrong will happen to it, the cleaning should be done by experts or oil painting professionals.
However, if your painting is not too old or not too dirty, then it is possible that you can clean it yourself to make your oil painting look brighter. Bear in mind that changing true antiques will most likely decrease its value although it may look better to you.
Following are some advises:
Not properly cleaning can destroy your painting. Therefore, I would recommended you to always practice on an old and inexpensive painting before cleaning an oil painting of importance to you.
If your painting is a little older then you have to check it whether the paint is in good condition or if its varnish is quite aged. If the varnish is quite aged, then try to apply a gentle solvent to your painting called the conservation liquid. Art shops usually sell this form of solvent or emulsion that cleans and take away varnish. There is a chance that the solvent can damaged your painting so you must be very careful in applying the solvent. Wipe the mix solvent with cotton and swab it very carefully. Try to spot test one bend before moving on to the whole canvas. Work on the area where there is enough sufficient air.
For not so old paintings or recent paintings most problem is with a build-up of dirt, pet hair, smoke, dander, as well as bacterial and viral growth. In problem like this make sure that none of the paint is prepared to come off the canvas or board. This means that the painting does not show any cracks or any flakes. Now you could carefully dust the surface with a spongy and dry bristle brush like a baby toothbrush or shaving cream brush.
When the surface of the painting is muggy dirty or oily, what you must do is to take the cleaning a step further and you may want to use a detergent solution. Detergent solution will help your cleaning faster but this must be done in a cautious way because it can damage the oil painting. Oil and water must never mix because moisture can surely damage the canvas and the impasto. A clean brand new fiber cloth dipped in a mixture of soap and humid water is used to lightly apply the spotted surface. Do not scrub or rub the oil painting and at no point should you sink any part of the painting or allow any drops of water in the painting.
Just follow the tips above and you will have a spot less oil painting.
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