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Old 10-19-2002, 09:17 PM   #1
Gloria Martony Gloria Martony is offline
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Cleaning old oil paintings

I acquired two oil portraits in a local auction. They are over 60 years old & covered in a film of dust & dirt. What is my best cleaning method?

They are on stretchers but not framed.

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Old 10-20-2002, 12:29 PM   #2
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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How to clean old oil painitngs

Gloria, I have removed old grime from several old paintings before, but the more I read about the subject of cleaning paintings the more I think this task should be handled by a professional restorer. You could do more harm to the work than it is worth! You have to have great patience because cleaning a painting requires several hours.

In the November issue of American Artist Magazine, there is an article about removing varnish that also covers light cleaning of paintings. It recommends using long-fiber sterilized cotton swabs (they don
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Old 10-21-2002, 06:08 PM   #3
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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For further information and advice, see this thread on Cleaning old paintings, from the Conservation and Restoration topic.
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Old 10-25-2002, 07:19 PM   #4
Gloria Martony Gloria Martony is offline
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Cleaning old paintings

Thanks for your valuable instruction.

I am going to attempt to do the cleaning myself.

I have looked everywhere for a signature, and cannot find one. Signature or not, they are beautiful to me. One is of a Red Cross nurse & the other is a "debutante" type portrait. Both are similar in their painterly style, and it seems that they might be sisters.

Interestingly enough, some folks at the auction who were bidding against me for the paintings, came to my home to see if they could buy them from me.

I am in awe of the quality of work I have seen on this site & to be in the presence of such gifted people.

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