Saturday, 24 March 2012

Cleaning an Old Oil Painting

Oil paintings tend to darken due to the accumulation of dirt and yellowing of the protective varnish layer.

oil paintings tend to darken due to the accumulation of dirt and yellowing of the protective varnish layer.

List of Materials

Gainsborough Emulsion Cleaner
Gainsborough Varnish Remover
Gainsborough Neutralizer
Gainsborough Gloss Varnish
6" Wooden Handle Cotton Swabs
Surgical Cotton
Surgical Gloves
Small Plastic Container

Step 1:

Lay the oil painting to be cleaned face up on a piece of kraft paper. Wear surgical gloves to protect your hands and be sure to have adequate ventilation. Take care not to press down on the canvas too much or you will stretch the canvas. We suggest using a piece of linoleum cut out from a sink under the area of the painting you are working on to prevent excessive pressure on the canvas.

Step 2:

Apply Gainsborough Neutralizer to a piece of cotton wool or white cotton cloth and gently wipe over the face of the oil painting to clean off the surface dirt. Use a cotton swab to test a corner of the oil painting with Gainsborough Emulsion Cleaner and Varnish Remover to determine which product will best clean the painting. Emulsion Cleaner will remove dirt and smoke, whereas Varnish Remover will remove yellowed varnish in most cases. For more difficult or special situations, Kotton Klenser™, Varnish Softener, Mastic Varnish Remover, or Linoxyn Remover may be required. Immediately after each test, apply Gainsborough Neutralizer to a clean piece of cotton and gently wipe over the test area to neutralize the cleaning action.

Step 3:

After establishing which product to use, you can begin cleaning the oil painting. Dip a cotton swab into the Gainsborough cleaning product you have selected. Use a rolling motion rather than a scrubbing motion when applying the cleaner. Watch your swab carefully to be sure that you are removing only dirt or varnish and not the paint. Do not dip the swab into the cleaning product again, once it has been used. We recommend cleaning a 2" square area at a time and then neutralizing the area with Gainsborough Neutralizer before proceeding to another area. We suggest doing the sky at one time, then the trees, etc. because it is easier to watch for any color that might be coming off, and different pigments respond differently to cleaning.

Step 4:

The final step is to varnish the oil painting with Gainsborough Gloss Varnish. This will bring out the colors and protect the painting for years to come.

Additional oil painting restoration instructions can be found in Gainsborough's Complete Manual of Oil Painting Restoration.

A Word of Caution

Improper cleaning can harm a painting. Therefore, we suggest that beginners engage a conservator to clean paintings having monetary or sentimental value. Always practice on an old, inexpensive painting before cleaning a painting of importance to you.

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"How do you clean acrylic paintings?"


If aesthetically appropriate, apply an isolation coat and varnish to acrylic paintings to facilitate ease of cleaning. Use a removable varnish such as GOLDEN Polymer Varnish or MSA Varnish. The removable varnish layer allows the painting’s surface to be cleaned at a much lower risk. If it becomes scratched or if dirt does become permanently embedded in this layer, the varnish layer can be sacrificed by removing it (consult GOLDEN Technical Data Sheets for Polymer Varnish and MSA Varnish for removal techniques), and a fresh layer of varnish can be applied to restore the painting to its original appearance.
Practice proactive prevention. Display paintings in the cleanest, lowest traffic areas possible. Vacuum or mop these areas, rather than sweeping, to minimize airborne dusts.
Minimize exposure of acrylics to elevated temperature, especially in combination with dusty conditions. Such areas may be near hot air inlets, in direct sunlight or attics.
Minimize frequency of direct contact, such as dusting of unprotected acrylic surfaces. Instead, use compressed air.
Seek out professional services as appropriate for the piece and conditions. By virtue of training, experience, tools and techniques, the risk of damage to the painting will be much less if it is cleaned by a reputable professional in the field of fine art conservation.
Recognizing the need for specific techniques for protecting as well as cleaning acrylic paintings, we invite response from conservation professionals who wish to share their experiences.

Photography Prints

Monday, 19 March 2012

It all begins with a trunk

The trunk is the first display of beauty. Every tree has it's foundation.

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The Release of Wintertree 3

My mother wanted a Wintertree painting. She was going to purchase a reproduction of Wintertree 1. Instead of her owning a reproduction I was more comfortable gifting her with an original. I was honored to present to her this at a family BBQ at my brothers house:

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The smile on her face was priceless when she was presented the piece.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

America Springs in Action and the Master Fine Artist is Hard at Work

The master artist God is at work again painting the most vibrant colors onto the earth. Singing the song of springtime the birds now begin each day with a wonderful melody.
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Glowing sunrise painted into the bluest skies with a touch of puffy white clouds as if they were cotton in the skies. It is a time to be grateful for my freedom as an American and happy to be home in the USA. Photography Prints
The bold pigmentation of the spring flowers and the fragrance brings a cheerful spirit to an American soul. Photography Prints
Visits to Lake Michigan begin and summer sneaks in rapidly. Art PrintsIt is superb to live in such a magnificent world and an honor to be an American.

God Bless America!Sell Art Online