Clean It: 12 Tips to Clean a Painting, Part 1


Many people are under the impression that they have to hire professionals if they want to clean a painting. Indeed, plenty of art restoration experts more or less make part of their living cleaning paintings or repairing the damage that is associated with dirt and other contaminants. Naturally, people can still clean paintings themselves as long as they know the right tips.

When it comes to cleaning a painting, it is important to choose the right cleaning methods for the right types of paintings. People can also work with art restoration experts in order to get the paintings clean. It is all a matter of knowing when their help is needed and when it isn’t.

One: Damaged paintings should be restored before they’re cleaned.

A lot of people try to fix paintings that have already been severely damaged. In some cases, they are just going to make the damage worse when they do that. In other cases, some of what they think is dirt is actually going to be damage that needs to be fixed. It is much more logical to get the paintings fixed. Since the art restoration experts are going to be able to conduct a lot of the cleaning anyway, it is an efficient system.

Two: Paintings need to be cleaned in a dry way.

Regardless of the type of painting, it is important not to get it wet. When it comes to watercolor paintings, getting the painting wet is actually going to partly dissolve the paint in question, possibly destroying the painting entirely. When it comes to oil paintings, there can be little cracks for the moisture to enter, which is going to cause damage in the long run. There are plenty of dry cleaning methods, and people need to avoid negotiating on that factor.

Three: Art supply stores have art restoration kits.

People don’t always need to go to professionals for this task, even if it is part of the process. Many art supply stores have art restoration kits that people can use when they are trying to clean their artwork. Many of these kits are going to have the sorts of specialized types of equipment that people aren’t going to be able to use if they are just improvising.

Four: Paintings should be cleaned in a horizontal position.

People shouldn’t clean the paintings on the wall while they are still on the wall. Paintings need to be cleaned in a horizontal position. It will be that much easier for them to clean the paintings, and they will be less likely to damage them. Cleaning paintings when they are still on the wall can also be somewhat awkward. It makes much more sense to place them in a horizontal position.

Five: Bread as a cleaning tool.

Many people have managed to use regular plain bread in order to clean paintings. They take the crust off of the bread, and press the bread onto the surfaces of paintings in order to get rid of hair, residues, and dust. Bread is soft enough that it is unlikely to really damage the painting. It is also inexpensive. Bread absorbs almost everything very well, which helps make it a very efficient cleaning tool.

Six: Soft brushes can remove dust.

Many paintings are going to accumulate dust throughout their lifetimes. However, they shouldn’t use rough rags in order to get rid of the dust, even if they might do the same thing when dusting their furniture. Furniture has a layer of varnish usually, and can manage to take that sort of impact. Paintings have fine details that need to be preserved, and people can do that while still removing the dust if they use soft brushes on their paintings.


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