In order to preserve your paintings for years to come, they need to be kept clean from dust, pet hair, and environmental residue, which could lead to damage over time. However, the job of cleaning paintings itself requires intricate procedures and skills to avoid causing irreversible damage, which can both affect the beauty and value of the artwork.
What Does Cleaning Accomplish?
In addition to removing dust, debris, and residue from the painting’s surface, cleaning can remove discolored varnish, which can negatively impact the appearance of artwork, obscuring important details and altering the appearance of colors. However, cleaning and removing discolored varnish is a difficult job that must be left to the restoration professionals. In order to avoid removing paint layers, a restoration professional must have a thorough understanding of the materials and chemistry of the painting’s structure in order to determine if and how a painting can be cleaned without causing damage. An untrained individual will invariably cause damage to the painting rather than improve its appearance.
How Complex Is the Cleaning Process?
The process of cleaning paintings is always improving as new advancements and methods are being developed. However, a professional will always begin by determining the right cleaning method to use for each piece of artwork that will not damage the paint or fabric layer.
There are many potential interactions that can occur between the materials used in the painting and the cleaning chemicals and water, and these must be understood and accounted for to avoid damage. The cleaner must also determine the nature of the accretion in order to determine what cleaning agents will be effective at removing them.
Once the correct cleaning methods are chosen, the restorer must still determine where surface accretion has gathered as well as any overpainting from the original paint. A variety of techniques, including the use of ultraviolet light, may be used to determine this.
Can All Paintings Be Cleaned?
Not every painting may be able to be fully cleaned. In some cases, the paint layer may be so fragile that removing accretion or blemishes could cause irreversible harm. A restoration professional will examine the work and determine if the work may be damaged by the cleaning process. If there is any doubt, then they will suggest leaving the painting uncleaned. It is always possible that advancements in cleaning and restoration could allow it to be cleaned in the future.
A thorough cleaning of paintings can restore both their aesthetic and monetary value and help them to better survive the test of time. However, it is necessary to leave this to professionals in order to avoid irreversible damage. With the right techniques, a restoration professional can remove blemishes, discoloration, and accretion to restore the painter’s original vision.
For a professional cleaning that will restore the value and beauty of your artwork, call us to schedule an appointment at 617-948-2577 and connect with us on Facebook.