Cleaning oil paintings: How clean the paintings without ruining them?

Cleaning oil paintings: How clean the paintings without ruining them?

Do you want to clean oil paintings but do not know where to start? Cleaning oil paintings need some precautions and here’s how to intervene by restoring brilliance to your canvas without the risk of ruining them.

In all the houses you can find oil paintings that decorate the walls, but perhaps not everyone knows that periodically these should be cleaned to preserve the beauty over time. Here’s how to do it the best way …

Why do the paintings need to be cleaned periodically?

The paintings are delicate objects and it is essential to take care of them. Over time, dust and dirt tend to accumulate on the canvas, making the colors opaque and damaging their brilliance, especially if they are in the kitchens or near a fireplace, in contact, therefore, with fumes and vapors. Cleaning oil paintings is not a complicated thing, but since they are composed of an oil base, it is good to intervene in a suitable way to avoid the risk of damaging them irreparably. Unless it is really valuable paintings, it is not necessary to turn to an expert, cleaning can be done at home with a few simple products for everyone.

Cleaning oil paintings

Cleaning oil paintings has never been easier

The cleaning of boards must be done periodically, to prevent dirt from accumulating and damaging the work. The intervention depends on the type of dirt on the canvas. If it is simply dust, a clean, slightly moistened cloth will suffice that must be passed gently on the painting. You will immediately see the colors recover their intensity.

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If, however, on the painting there are spots, you must proceed differently depending on the type …

  • Stains of paint: In this case just pour a few drops of flaxseed oil diluted with a few drops of water on a clean cloth and pass it on the stain, this will disappear in no time.
  • Wax stains: For this type of stains, a few drops of soapy water and alcohol will help you remove dirt. Wet a cloth with this mixture and treat the stain without making too much pressure.

If none of these methods has proved effective against the stains on your beautiful picture, avoid using other solvents or detergents and contact an expert restorer, he will know how to intervene.

Cleaning oil paintings

3 errors to avoid when cleaning an oil painting

Cleaning oil paintings is not simple, and also there are common mistakes that should be avoided in order not to damage the canvas. Here are the 3 most common …

  • The first mistake to avoid is to use liquid products. Never use degreasers or other detergents because you risk melting the oil and ruining the picture;
  • The second mistake to avoid in oil painting cleaning is to use paper. The surface of a painting is not perfectly smooth and the cloths of paper could irreparably ruin the mixture of color on the canvas as well as leaving annoying pieces of paper difficult to remove.
  • The third mistake to avoid is to clean them seldom. The dust that accumulates is likely to be absorbed by oil colors, opacifying them permanently. For this region, removing the accumulations of dirt daily ensures you always intense colors.

By following these small precautions you can take care of your paintings without danger.

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