Oil Painting Restoration
All work is done on the premises by our experienced conservators.
The cleaning of an oil painting means removing the varnish coat which protects the oil paint and replacing it with a new varnish.
The old varnish turns yellow with age and accumulates dirt on top of it, some of the dirt is from smoking, wood and coal soot from heating and dust particles that have become imbedded in the surface. Each painting is tested to determine the proper organic solvent combination which will remove the varnish and not the paint.
Varnish being more soluable than paint allows for a threshold in which we can work. If repairs are necesary we fill the area missing paint, isolate it from the original and replace missing paint by matching the original color and style of brushwork.
- The relining of a painting means to attach a new canvas backing to the painting.
- This is done on a hot table in a vacuum.
- The new canvas is treated with relining wax and laid under the painting after it has been prepared. The table is brought up to the melting temperature of the wax while in a vacuum, this ensures complete permeation of wax into the old canvas and allows us to control the temperature.
- There is no pressure applied to the painting itself and the temperature is below a level that could be harmful to the painting protecting the paint from damage and retaining any impasto effects.
- This method was developed by Gustav Berger in the 1940’s for The Art Conservation Research Foundation Ltd. and is used throught the United States and Canada by conservators and museums.
- We do not condone the practice of hand relining of oil paintings.