This week, I thought I would share some tips on restoring old paintings. My husband’s grandmother was a wonderful artist, but after many years of completing pieces, some get neglected. I found some pieces that especially spoke to me but were never really finished. After years of sitting around, they were pretty dirty too. This is especially useful if you like finding and fixing up garage sale, thrift store or flea market type items.
First, you must very carefully clean the piece. For these pieces, I just used water and a cloth. I wasn’t sure the media used, so I did not want to use something too harsh and destroy the piece. Be very careful cleaning with anything other than water.
Second, if you need it, find a frame that compliments the piece well. I usually try to find frames that have elements in the frame design that reflect elements from the piece itself.
Third, make sure to coat the painting in a protective sealer to help continue to preserve and protect it. There are all different types for different media and have matte or varnish finishes depending on how you want it to look. I use this brand.
Once the finish dries, go ahead and put the piece in the frame and assemble any other hardware to go with it. A good strong frame helps to keep the canvas from warping which can ruin paintings.
These are the three paintings I restored and hung in our house. They are beautiful Paula Pigott works!