What is Artwork Restoration?

As with most things in life, artwork, including paintings and sculptures, decay with time. Over a long enough period of time, all artwork will suffer from gradual decay; however, this can be greatly accelerated by certain conditions. Often these items are crafted with materials that are unsuited to changes in humidity, temperature, and light that can occur from transporting them. Additionally, exposure to smoke and damages from mishandling, fires, water, and accidents can cause sudden and severe damage. When this occurs, artwork restoration is the only way to preserve and restore artwork to its original beauty.

What Is Happening to Your Artwork?

No matter what material your artwork used in its original creation, the fact is that with time it will decay. For paintings, this is often the most severe. For example, chemical changes can make paintings in oil more transparent. Varnish layers can grow more yellow, brittle, and darken. This can lead to cracks and flaking of the varnish independently of changes in the paint beneath.

Additional changes can occur that affect the appearance of the artwork, such as a change in the tone and appearance of pigments, often due to exposure to light. The surface of artwork can also become covered in grime from smoke, candles, and simple exposure to the environment. With exposure to humidity, paint moisture can penetrate layers of paint, creating a whitish haze known as bloom. These environmental damages can be truly severe and nearly impossible for a non-professional to solve without causing severe damage to the artwork itself.

However, often physical damage can result in even more severe damage. All artwork suffers the risk of scratches, dents, tears, punctures, and other forms of accidental damage. In most paintings of any age, there is likely to be some form of damage. Often this results in spiderweb or fishbone cracks on the surface of the paint.

Even without any damage, as artwork ages, it will likely require some form of support to preserve it. A painting on canvas can eventually suffer from weakening fibers that may fail to support the layers of paint above. Also, changes in humidity can cause the canvas to slacken and tighten, causing the paint to lift and flake.

Though all paintings will eventually suffer from the effects of aging, conservation can greatly slow the rate of harm. Also, when harm does occur, an experienced restorer can often reverse the damage and help to preserve the artwork for the future.

What Is Restoration?

When it comes to restoring your artwork, this can mean many things, from cleaning to repairs and stabilizing the artwork from damage. One of the most common ways in which paintings require the care of a professional restorer is to remove the accumulation of dirt and grime. Restoration may also require repairing a loss of paint, water, fire, and insect damage, as well as weakening structures. Finally, a restorer will help to stabilize the artwork and ensure that it is able to be cared for in the future. It is easy to see that a restorer’s job can take many forms depending upon the needs of the artwork.

Final Thoughts

Artwork restoration is crucial to ensure that artwork will be able to stand the test of time. All artwork will decay with time, but proper care and restoration can help to preserve the artwork for the future. It is always crucial to ensure that you trust your artwork to a professional restorer with a strong reputation for care and responsibility.

Contact Us

For more information on the restoration of artwork and to determine if your artwork is in need of professional restoration, contact Manzi Appraisers & Restorers. Our professional team has more than 20 years of experience helping people and companies with the appraisal and care of fine artwork. Call us at 617-948-2577 and connect with us on Facebook.