At Bay Art & Gallery we go through several proven processes to restore your paints. Although we mention these below please do not try this at home. There are still proper techniques that vary from piece to piece.
Cleaning - the use of emulsion cleaners to remover grime & dirt that has accumulated on an old painting. It is applied with a cotton ball in a horizontal position, covering no more than about 4" x 4" at a time. (Note to our customer: The common practice of using soap and water is a dangerous one and should be avoided at all cost. The water seeps through minute cracks & penetrates into the canvas, which in turn allows the paint to start peeling off.)
Removing Old Varnish - after the removal of surface grime, some paintings may require the removal of old picture varnish. This can be a relatively simple process or difficult, according to the type of varnish and its age. The old varnish is removed using cotton swabs with a wooden handle, using a rolling motion to mop up the old varnish. This is a time consuming and delicate process.
Removal of Repainting - the process of cleaning out any painting done by a former restorer, or just plain "would-be-artist". A long wave ultraviolet light is used to inspect and detect over painting.
Repairing - this process includes patching and mending of any tears or broken places in the old painting. The process uses a wax/resin compound used by many restorers. A wax/resin saturated linen patch is used to repair the tears.
In-painting - the process of matching the colors of the repaired spot to the surrounding area. Usually, applied after a layer of varnish has been added.
Varnishing - the application of thin, uniform coats of natural picture varnish. A smoother job of varnishing is accomplished if both painting and the varnish are warmed prior to application. Each coat should be allowed to dry at least three to four days between applications. Two coats are done in this fashion with a third coat done six months later.