PDA

View Full Version : Restoration question


Pannet
10-21-2001, 01:48 PM
Can anyone tell me how/the best way to clean an oil painting? It's a oil portrait done years ago and was probably in storage for five or six so it's pretty dusty/dirty. I'd like to clean the canvas up and repaint the portrait (on the same canvas) - there's not a lot of paint on the canvas to begin with so I don't think that would be a problem - I used too much thinner when I did it so it's almost like an under painting!
Also there is about a 1/4 inch tear in the canvas - can that be repaired? Can I glue another piece of canvas on the back, behind the tear? Any suggestions appreciated!

Verdaccio
10-21-2001, 02:00 PM
Preface: I have never done this before, but....

Two options I know of: Gamblin makes an oil painting cleaner. Comes with instructions and should work very well. Or, you can just take some mildly soapy water in a very soft spunge and go lightly over the surface several times, then again with just water and let it air dry.

sandge
10-21-2001, 04:03 PM
More an oil painting question that portraiture. Moving this to the oils forum. :D

paintfool
10-21-2001, 06:15 PM
I would have to agree with Verdaccios advice on cleaning it and yes, to glue a piece of canvas to the back to repair the tear is probably the best way to handle it. Now we'd need someone more knowledgable to step in here and suggest the proper glue to use for this repair....rabbit skin maybe?
Cheryl

Leopoldo1
10-21-2001, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Pannet
Also there is about a 1/4 inch tear in the canvas - can that be repaired? Can I glue another piece of canvas on the back, behind the tear? Any suggestions appreciated!

Pannet,

Make a mixture of equal parts of beeswax and venice turpentine, keeping mixture warm. Lay the piece face down on a solid surface. Cut a piece of linen larger than the tear for your patch. Unravel all 4 edges leaving it with threads protruding a 1/2 inch or more.

Apply a coat of the skicky solution to both the tear and the patch and press the patch over the tear and rub it together with a putty knife. Place a piece of paper over the patch and smooth out with a warm iron. Turn over, inspect and remove any residue that might have leaked through. You will still be able to see some of the repair and a mixture of whiting, stand oil and venice turps can be used to fill in the visible small indentation. Let dry a few months and you can go to it! :oL

paintfool
10-22-2001, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by Leopoldo
Unravel all 4 edges leaving it with threads protruding a 1/2 inch or more.
Leo, can you please explain the reason for this?
Thanks,
Cheryl

Leopoldo1
10-22-2001, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by paintfool
Leo, can you please explain the reason for this?
Thanks, Cheryl

Hi Cheryl,

You could leave it square edged. By unravelling the weave a little, one obtains a more feathered transition that is less sharp-edged which will adhere better. Hope that explains it. :o)

paintfool
10-22-2001, 11:19 PM
Yes, it certainly does. Thank you!
Cheryl

max nelson
11-01-2001, 10:57 PM
Leopoldo..thanks for the tip. I, too, have an old canvas that I purchased at an auction years ago that got damaged with a childs rocker poking a tear thru it. I've tried to find someone to restore it to no avail. It is probably not that valuable but is turn of the last century and of good quality. I'll try your method. Now all I have to do will be to decide if I have the nerve to repaint the area damaged or look for a pro. Any suggestions on new paint over 100 year old paint? :confused: Have fun in D.C. & NY
Max

Leopoldo1
11-02-2001, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by max nelson
Now all I have to do will be to decide if I have the nerve to repaint the area damaged or look for a pro. Any suggestions on new paint over 100 year old paint?

Max, I would take a stab at it. It shouldn't be that difficult to match color and values for a small area, but the entire painting will have to be cleaned first. I assume it was varnished? All damar varnish will have to be removed gently, not rubbing, with cotton pads dampened with turpentine, picking up the varnish and then discarded. It is a slow process and will take some time. :oL

cobalt fingers
07-17-2002, 10:06 PM
Leo, you know so much-a good read.