Category: Cleaning and restoring artworks

Before and after: oil painting on wood.

Before and after: Bernhard, oil on wooden panel.
A big chunk of the paint on the roof was chipped, leaving a deep gap behind.

This is an oil painting on a piece of wooden board. The wood was exposed to moisture and horizontal cracks started to appear, in line with the grain of the pressed wood. Some cracks were a bit wider, even causing the paint to flake around the roof area.

Firstly, the work was cleaned. After that, I filled in the missing paint around the roof area with a gesso chalk mix. I layered the mix until the desired thickness was accomplished. Then I painted over the gesso mix with acrylic paint. I also filled in some of the horizontal cracquele and sealed it by giving the piece a mat new lacquer, keeping the paint sealed and the painting protected.

Before and after: Impressionist still life with fish

Cleaned and applied a new strip lining, reframed

The canvas of this oil painting was torn and rippled around the edges. I glued the canvas on a new piece of canvas and applied it on a new stretcher. The surface of the canvas was mildly cleaned and received a new layer of lacquer. A new frame was used to complete this neat piece of art by Micha Landt in 1943.

Before and after: cleaning a dress

Before and after: cleaning a dress

The smoke residue was cleaned for the most part, but I decided not to restore her fully. Her face mainly her cheeks, still show some cracquele that I did not find troubling enough to restore. It did not meddle with her face in color or appearance to much. However, no one likes to see a powder blue shiffon dress looking as filthy as it did. That was in short the train of thought that led to this decision. The smoke that led to the yellow residue was leaving a trail as it were over the surface of the canvas. coming. Perhaps the painting was placed above a smoking chair or near a fire place. After intensive cleaning some retouching, the painting looks fresh again. It was framed in a new frame and the piece is up for sale on Etsy.

Is your antique fashion print antique?

detail of the faceIf you collect prints you might already know: “it is important to know if the print is genuine or not”. A genuine antique print is usually far more valuable than a reproduction, especially when it is a rare antique print. So, how can you tell if your fashion print is the real stuff? Even better, how can you prevent yourself from purchasing a fake fashion print?

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Retouching old and antique frames

Sometimes you come across a wonderful artwork with a damaged frame. Old prints and plates usually suffer from effects that are caused by time: foxing, yellowing, browning or tearing.


To me, these marks of aging are perfectly fine and acceptable, to some degree that is. I don’t like whiter than snow antique prints that have been whitened with aggressive bleaching agents. The print will look like it was printed yesterday and in most cases probably even looks whiter than it ever has! Some art dealers might resolve to these harsh methods, but the prints suffer severely and the chlorides and other chemicals will damage the fibers of the old paper. Most antique lovers would agree with me that some wear and tear actually adds to the charm and beauty of an antique item.

A frame however, is a different story. After some time in the antique prints business, I have noticed that damaged frames dramatically devalue a piece of art. Frames are intended to serve as a window that you look through, they separate the artwork from the rest of the environment, so your eyes can focus on the work of art. Next to that, they also offer protection to the art piece, especially when glass is used. So when the frame is damaged, sharp visual lines are broken, and all these complimenting effects mentioned above, are compromised. In this article I describe the work on a standard, antique frame. I also sometimes use different techniques when ornaments are damaged. (working with hand made molds) But that will be featured in another article.

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