Oil Painting and Picture Restoration

Good picture restoration can often be transformative.  But before picture restoration can begin there are several questions that will have a bearing on the amount of work to be done, and the way in which that work will be carried out and the expected result and cost parameters.


Picture restoration refers to the removal of surface dirt and discoloured varnish layers, the treatment of the support, patching of tears, of lining the whole canvas, and the sympathetic use of similar pigments to repair areas of paint loss.


If you are considering restoring one of your paintings, please call or email us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Each piece will have had a different 'life', hung or stored in different conditions, looked after or not, and with good or bad previous restoration. There are a host of different variables, and here we highlight a few.


The support

The types of support most commonly used for oil painting include canvas, wood panel, paper, cardboard and milled artists board.  Each type of support requires different procedures for the restorer.


Removal of surface dirt and/or discoloured varnish

All artworks collect air borne dirt particles over the years, in a similar way to curtains and furniture. Dirt combined with the yellowing of old varnishes can make some paintings hard to 'read', and their removal can often be enough to transform a painting.  However, bear in mind that cleaning can sometimes also remove previous over-painting hidden beneath the discoloured varnish.  


Holes, tears, rips and flaking paint

Wherever possible we repair holes and tears by patching, as we believe that it is always preferable to see the original canvas.  However, sometimes the canvas may be so weak or damaged that lining with a sympathetic canvas is the only solution.


Flaking paints on the picture surface can be stabilised and areas of loss filled before re-touching with sympathetic pigments.


Does my painting really need restoration and is it worth it?

I'm afraid this a question only you can answer.  It all depends upon the 'look' you prefer.  If you want to see your painting look its' best, then yes, but you may prefer a more 'lived in' look.


We cannot advise on painting values as we are not accredited valuers.



Each artwork must be thoroughly examined in our workshop before we can give an estimate for restoration.  However, we are in the first instance, happy to discuss your requirements by phone, supplemented by photographs sent either in the post or by email.


Picture Restoration
Picture Restoration