SIGN UP FOR FREE TIPS
Name:
Email:
Save Your Stuff Blog

Dirt, Grime and Smoke Lead to Discoloration, Why its Important to Clean Artwork!

dsc_0049

Smoke, dust and grime can all make a significant impression on a painting’s brilliance. This wonderful oil painting shows major discoloration due to the said reasons above. Although you may not smoke there is a lot of dust and grime that builds up on paintings over a period of time so having your artwork cleaned is the best way to bring back it’s original look. Many of our clients may bring in a painting for other reasons than for a cleaning, but once they see the difference in color and depth after a cleaning test, they realize the importance of this service.

The first step our conservators take when working with a dirty painting is a cleaning test. This is done to test what is on the surface of the painting. This is usually done with water only, depending on the varnish and reason for its dirtiness. If the varnish on a painting is discolored due to dirt or dust then water can easily remove the dull grimy look, but if the painting is discolored due to smoke then a solvent, such as acetone, may need to be used. It takes a lot of time, schooling and experience to spot the different varnishes and to understand the capabilities of various solvents. We advise that you do not try to clean a painting yourself but to bring it in to a professional for advise or help.

As shown in the image above cleaning a painting can dramatically improve the tonality. When dirty, colors such as whites turn yellow or brown, crisp blues turn a muddy green and purples can turn to a brownish color. This can result in a loss of depth of field and contrast. So as you can see having your artwork cleaned is very ideal in maintaining the brilliance and beauty of your favorite masterpiece.

Questions about conservation/restoration? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757

Questions about preparing your stuff for an earthquake or hurricane? Click on “Products” at the top of the page.

Questions about art and antique appraisals? Call Richard at (805) 895-5121

Questions about working with an insurance claim? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757

Also see: www.tipsforartcollectors.org

www.insurancepersonalpropertyassessment.com

What can you do at home or at the office to protect and save your artwork and collectibles from damage in an earthquake or hurricane?

Go to www.saveyourstuff.com/museum-wax-package

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Articles:

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , ,

33 Responses to “Dirt, Grime and Smoke Lead to Discoloration, Why its Important to Clean Artwork!”

  1. Amit Sehgal says:

    Great article! Thanks for posting.

  2. Hazel Owens says:

    It’s amazing how much dust and smoke can change a painting! The fact that smoke damage or grime needs to be treated differently than other dirt is also interesting to me, though I suppose that smoke sticks more than other materials. I’ll have to check out the paintings I have in my home and consider getting them cleaned off. Thanks for the article!

  3. Khiva Param says:

    Good Article

  4. Quang Thang says:

    I love to collect art from around the world, nothing crazy but i have a fairly good collection. And the paintings I do not put under glass fade so quickly! Make sure to protect your paintings!

  5. Miki Hanoi says:

    You can protect your artwork with UV filtering acrylic or treated glass products. But plain glass does not do squat to keep sensitive pigments from fading.
    Miki Hanoi´s last blog post ..TUYỂN GẤP 30 LAO ĐỘNG NỮ ĐƠN HÀNG MAY MẶC

  6. Rix Allison says:

    Great article! Thanks for posting.

  7. Bryan says:

    very nice article. I learned some useful tips. Thanks

  8. Chris says:

    Interesting info on cleaning paintings but it seems to sensitive a job for a regular person. I have a friend who tried it and ruin the painting.

  9. Paul says:

    Never done anything like cleaning my collection of artwork, but it is good point. I am not an artist but have couple friends who are might be interested to check this out.

  10. Tim Swansea says:

    Applying varnish can protect your paintings from dust and damage though many articts nowadays don’t want to apply it on their art work

  11. Casio Yamata says:

    Amazing difference with the cleaning!

  12. Isabel Panks says:

    Good article. Thanks

  13. Atlan Semestre says:

    I would certainly take valuable or sentimental art to a professional for cleaning rather than risk damage.

  14. I have never know this facts of cleaning the artworks. I’ll never try this by my own and let the experts do it for me. Thanks for such a informative blog post.

  15. Bruno Boltemore says:

    My late grandmother had an oil painting in her home that’s really dark and seems dirty. I thought that cleaning a painting would be meticulous work. Thanks for the article.

  16. Term Paper says:

    Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment.

  17. deepak says:

    Hi

    I do agree with u ……………………………………..

    Thanks

  18. to clean a painting should be done by experienced experts

    because if not this will cause damage to the painting

  19. Ben king says:

    I agree it is important to clean your paintings if you want to continue enjoying their beauty

  20. Scott says:

    Eric, it is a common misconception that glass keeps things from fading which could not be further from the truth. Any framer will attest to the massive fading that goes on behind glass. You can protect your artwork with UV filtering acrylic or treated glass products. But plain glass does not do squat to keep sensitive pigments from fading. I have mock ups in the lab to prove it.

  21. There is a huge difference between protecting your art work and just letting it be. Great photo that shows this. I love to collect art from around the world, nothing crazy but i have a fairly good collection. And the paintings I do not put under glass fade so quickly! Make sure to protect your paintings!

  22. Ryan Folks says:

    I agree on this post that cleaning is important to realize things cool looking such painting. Like this information you have shared.

  23. Corky Giles says:

    It’s gratifying to see your such a great information. We really impressed with your such a huge information. Thank you so much for your great information

  24. Patty Zatari says:

    I’ll never try this by my own and let the professionals do it for me. Thanks for such a informative blog.

  25. Scott says:

    Kaylee, thanks for the comment. You can look for referrals from local museums and art galleries (that carry the same type of art). But many times they use lousy quality fixer uppers too. If you would like, I’d be happy to chat with you about it if you will call me at 805 564 3438 (CA time)

  26. My mom bought a painting years ago and she placed it in a corner of the room that was not easily accessible. Now I understand why she did it… she didn’t trust us kids to stay away from it!

  27. Kaylee says:

    I have never tried my hand at cleaning art works. This post is informative though. But I think professionals are best to do cleaning. I have some art works which look like they require cleaning. They are discolored, darkened and dulled due to time. I will look around for some help to get them taken care of. Any suggestions?

  28. Art Lover says:

    You are doing a very good job by making people aware for how to preserve their artworks. Artists made paintings with their feelings, emotions and heart and some of careless people bought these paintings and never take care of them. Everyone should be aware of how important Artwork is for preserving the culture so take care of your artworks in proper manner.

  29. Wow! What a difference cleaning made in the color and richness of the painting. I would be afraid to even clean a valuable painting with water, much less acetone. I mean, that stuff removes oil based enamel! I would certainly take valuable or sentimental art to a professional for cleaning rather than risk damage.

  30. Isabella says:

    I have never know this facts about cleaning the artworks. I’ll never try this by my own and let the professionals do it for me. Thanks for such a informative blog.

  31. Alex says:

    Cleaning is very important for every aspect whether it is concerned with a painting or health.

  32. Jason Dexter says:

    It’s night and day. Because the buildup is so slow you often won’t notice it at all. It’s like a child that grows. Other people notice it, but because you see your kid everyday you don’t notice it. Personally I would be afraid to try to clean an expensive painting in fear I would destroy it since I don’t have this experience. This is work better left to the professionals.

  33. Judy says:

    what a huge difference the cleaning made. I didnt realize you could do this.

Leave a Reply

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).
CommentLuv badge