Restoring Oil Paintings

Oil paintings are delivered to our studios in all shapes and sizes and sometimes in a very fragmented condition. We have the experience and expertise to examine even the most damaged picture. From our initial survey, we can determine whether it is possible to repair a picture and if the cost of restoration will in fact be worthwhile.

The condition of an oil painting is determined by a number of factors.

Firstly, if the painting is on canvas how is that surface supported to ensure that the paint is not being continually subjected to movement and upheaval. The most common support for an oil painting is the wooden stretcher that holds the canvas taught. If this is broken or decayed it has to be replaced.

Secondly, if the condition of the canvas on which the painting has been created is frayed, punctured or has holes in it, then it is probable that the canvas will need to be relined. This means that the existing canvas will be bonded onto a new canvas before being restretched, as described above, the picture is then ready for further restoration.

Thirdly, holes or punctures to the surface of a painting are best filled from the front of the picture.  An early decision has to be made, and the cost decided, as to whether to patch the painting from the back before filling the holes or whether to completely reline the canvas as described previously. All filling of holes in a canvas is only as successful as the supporting canvas on the reverse allows.

Once any or all of these faults have been corrected then Cleaning an Oil Painting on canvas can begin.

"The best Oil Painting Restoration is achieved when the restorer does not seek to short cut the process to achieve a quick result."