Signed in as:
Signed in as:
We can often return a painting to its original splendor by removing dust, dirt, built-up grime, or foreign materials like nicotine. We employ a layered approach that begins with a sustainable and non-toxic application of amylase and lipase, which break down starches and fats sometimes found in grime. The pH levels used can be different for each painting, but on average we use a slightly acidic application or professional restoration detergent, which can improve cleaning performance. Our warm temperature method can also encourage removal of grime and other non-original materials. Our approach is particularly suitable for paintings that are already protected with a layer of varnish, which provides a barrier between the application and the paint itself. Even if varnish removal is the eventual goal of a treatment, removing surface grime is often an important initial step in getting to know the painting and its condition.
Sustained heavy smoking in the proximity of this painting by Phyllis Hollands-Robinson greatly contributed to its discoloration. Damage can come from all forms of smoking, including e-cigarettes. Over time, this painting became stained with nicotine deposits and took on a dark, yellowish hue with bloches of dirt adhering to the surface. Often in such cases, key details of a painting will be obscured, and the vibrancy of the artwork will be substantially diminished. As seen here, the right side of this painting has had moderately suscessful restoration.
In our initial meeting with the customer, we explore the history and personal value of the artwork and dive deep into the desired outcomes of the restoration.
We assess the overall condition of the artwork and the scale of damage. Here we conduct a current and future market appraisal to help the customer make an informed decision.
We begin with dry tests to measure the depth and weight of the damage. We remove any superficial dirt, and test release points, before diving deeper into targeted areas.
We first photograph the artwork at high resolution and build a target restoration plan. Using the least invasive wet-swab approach, we systematically remove dirt and grime.
We often re-photograph the artwork and conduct a layer opacity comparison to deterime inital succes before continuing with a cleaning across the entire surface of the painting.
Final photographs reveal the before and after of each painting. In most cases, we meet with the customer in our gallery and under optimal lighting conditions, share the transformation.