How to Restore a Painting

How to Restore a Painting. The restoration of paintings is a very exact science and must be done by a professional conservator. If you attempt to restore paintings on your own, you may unintentionally cause permanent damage or considerably diminish the value of your painting. The following steps are meant to show how professional conservators perform a painting restoration. This information gives you knowledge of painting restoration techniques so you are comfortable contacting a conservator. Read on to learn more.

Contact a conservator who is seasoned in painting restoration. Conservators usually specialize in different areas; so make sure you choose someone with experience in your type of restoration.

Clean the painting. Paintings collect dust and dirt just like any other object in your home, but a simple feather dusting is not enough to restore a painting. Conservators use special soaps to remove dirt and solvents to remove excess varnishes that dull or discolor your paintings.

Repair tears in the canvas and fix cracked or peeling paint. Depending on the size of the repair, the conservator can either re-weave the canvas or choose to use adhesives in order to repair the damage.

Re-varnish the painting. Conservators use varnishes to protect the painting and the colors in the painting, and also to give the artist's or owner's desired finish on the painting. Whether it is a glossy or matte finish that you desire, a good conservator uses varnishes that won't diminish the beauty of the painting and that can be easily removed during future cleanings.


  • A good conservator is going to charge a pretty high rate to clean and repair a painting. Be aware that there are people out there charging less money but without the proper credentials, so be careful when choosing your conservator.

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