Cleaning an Oil Painting

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Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Jonathan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am

A new customer has asked if I know of anyone to clean an oil painting for them. It's not an old master, just been badly stored and is now covered in dust and dirt.

I called the Guild as I thought they had a register of such people, but they were unable to help.

I have found the institute of Conservation have a list of members but seem to mostly work for museums. http://www.conservationregister.com/

One of their members sells a cleaner which sounds just the job, but I'm reluctant to try this as I'm sure my insurance wouldn't cover damage from this! https://www.fineart-restoration.co.uk/b ... g-cleaner/

Any suggestions? What does anyone else do, if anything?
Thanks Jonathan
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby prospero » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:04 am

There is no such thing as a all-purpose oil painting cleaner. All paintings are different and what works on one
could totally destroy another. The skill of the restorer is the ability to assess what treatment is appropriate.

So my advice is, don't have a go and see what happens. It's a perilous path. :shock:
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Jonathan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:40 pm

prospero thanks for confirming my initial reaction on this. Still leaves the problem of what to suggest to my client.
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby David McCormack » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:14 pm

Jonathan wrote:I called the Guild as I thought they had a register of such people, but they were unable to help.


They do have a register of members who offer restoration and they should have been more helpful :evil:

How far is your customer wanting to travel? A quick search on the FATG website, in their list of members who offer restoration services, brings up one in London and one in Northampton.

http://primrosegallery.co.uk/painting-restoration/
https://www.pureandapplied.co.uk/painting-restoration/
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Ian Kenny Framing » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 pm

Hi Jonathan
I'm sorry the Guild was unable to help on this occasion, we'd generally recommend Barry Leveton or a search in the Guild directory as David has done. If we can't help practically (perhaps due to there not being anyone close enough) we would then recommend a search of the ICON database as we should.
Don't forget that as a Guild member, you have free access to the Framer's technical helpline, where you'd be able to chat in person with another framer who has most probably faced the same problem, and might be able to help!
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Ian Kenny Framing » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:51 pm

Another apology Jonathan, driving home from work I realised that no-one had really answered your questions -
Any suggestions? What does anyone else do, if anything?

As a framer, I often get asked to clean up an oil painting and other types of artwork. I'm happy to admit to the customer that this task falls outwith my remit as a framer, and should be carried out by a qualified conservator/restorer. I suggest that they do a Google search for someone that they will be happy to work with. That generally gets a response asking if there is someone I'd recommend.
As it happens, there is a restorer who I am happy to recommend - and I originally found them through ICON - there's not a Guild member restorer local to me. I'll give them the details, and then any discussion, and contract, is first party between them and the restorer.
I've not had a customer disappointed - ever - because I won't do the work!
Hope this helps with your dilemma.
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Not your average framer » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:03 pm

I've been cleaning pictures for years and it is possible to get trained and learn how to do this, but you will need to gain experience cleaning a reasonable number of pictures before you are good enough to consider cleaning your customers pictures.

Whatever you do, don't even think about practicing your skills on customers paintings, it's a very bad idea!
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Jonathan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:46 pm

Thanks for all the help and advice. I wasn't actually planning to do the cleaning myself, and to be fair my customer didn't expect me to do it. She asked if I could recommend someone! And I thought I would be able to, through the Guild, hence this post/thread.
Jonathan
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Framemaker Richard » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:25 am

It's always good to be able to recommend someone who you have used a few times before, so you know what sort of work they can do. When I used to do work for the public I would often get paintings lined and cleaned etc on behalf of clients, using restorers I had known and used for many years. But I think unless you do this a lot, is better just to recommend and refer your client directly to the restorer.

There are a few around the country I would be happy to recommend, closest to you is Broadway Fine Art in Northampton:

http://www.broadwayfineart.co.uk/

and you're also not far from Victoria Fine Art in St Albans, I've seen lots of their frame restoration work and repro antique frames, I don't have personal experience of their painting restoration work, but they are very close to you, and I imagine it is very good.

http://www.victoria-fine-art.com/

Could also be a good idea to contact the BAPCR for a member near you:

http://www.bapcr.org.uk/index.html
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby kartoffelngeist » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:36 am

Bit of turps and some steel wool will sort it I'm sure.

Never tried, but what could possibly go wrong?



- I feel the need to point out, this was a joke.
Thanks,

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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby David McCormack » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:45 am

kartoffelngeist wrote:...I feel the need to point out, this was a joke.


Too late :oops:

Painting.jpg
Painting.jpg (298.71 KiB) Viewed 895 times
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby kartoffelngeist » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:49 am

I don't get it, you've posted pretty much the same picture twice.

Maybe an art expert would notice a difference or two, who knows...
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby Jonathan » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:31 am

Thank you Framemaker Richard, very helpful
Jonathan
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Re: Cleaning an Oil Painting

Postby prospero » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:52 am

An old mate of mine brought round a painting of a bus he picked up somewhere. It was painted on an aluminium
panel and it had blistered in places and was generally a bit scabby.
He wanted to know if I could "just touch it up a bit".

I told him it wasn't that bad and I didn't want to risk making it worse. :roll:


btw. There was a very good dramamentary on Sky TV called "Behold the Monkey".
I think it's still on Catch-Up. Worth a look. :lol:

I think that lady was a big Mungo Jerry fan.

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