Sunday, June 22, 2014

Restoration of an Antique Oil Painting

A friend of mine purchased this lovely little original oil painting from an antique store.  It really is a nice little landscape, but it had a small puncture wound in it near the center of the painting.  It had also been put into this frame by someone who clearly was clueless about the handling of original art.  People need to respect original art and treat it carefully.  In this case the painting had been nailed (with 2" long nails) through the sides of the old linen canvas, and then they used packing tape to hold the nails in.  The person that handled it also drove a nail or something else that caused a small puncture wound and a slight scrape through the face of the painting.  Perhaps this painting was purchased by the antique dealer at an estate sale and then unfortunately didn't know how to properly handle and repair it before it was sold?

Poor handling of Antiques can result in a loss in their value.  

Restoration of an oil painting might include removing the surface grime and dirt and discolored varnish.  In this case.... it just needed a small patch to the punctured site and a slight touch up on the face of the canvas.  It also had to be re-framed the proper way.  My friend only paid a few hundred for it and wanted to know if I could fix it.   Although I don't claim to know all that goes into fine art restoration ... I did work for an art restorer many years ago and did learn a few tricks of the trade.  To hire a professional restorer in can cost in excess of $1000. or even much more depending on what is needed.   A professional art restorer would definitely be recommended  in most cases, however I knew I could fix this quite easily.

Above is the painting with the puncture wound damage.  It is difficult to see in the photo, however it is something that needed to be repaired to keep it from getting worse over time.

This little painting has a beautiful luminosity to it and wonderful texture.  The linen canvas seemed to support it well but there are some slight areas of sagging.  Changes in temperature, humidity, exposure to direct sunlight or fires can also be a cause for the need of restoration or even slight sagging in the canvas.  

I repaired the back side of the linen with a very small patch.  I then carefully touched up the face of the oil painting with professional quality oil paint.  It only required a couple of very small touches of blended paint.  I used "Liquin Fine Detail" as my medium to help blend it into the natural sheen of the varnish on the original painting.

See below:
(you can click on the image to see it larger)

Varnish is also affected by the changes in temperature and humidity.  Sunlight can cause it to turn yellow or discolored over time as well.  This little painting has wonderful cracks and surface texture that should be left as is.  The tiny drop of "Liquin Fine Detail Medium" worked perfectly for a small touch up of this aged varnished painting.

 On the easel and all touched up!

My oil medium I used...but only a tiny drop was needed

The backside of the painting, patched and properly framed

Here in the bottom right corner is the signature.  The artist is a mystery...but how nice it is to know that his or her work is being appreciated and enjoyed maybe even long after the artist lived.

It's all done and ready to be delivered and enjoyed.

Barbara Rudolph

1 comment:

Ken Newman said...

Nice job Barbara, very informational. 2203