How to Clean Canvas Paintings
Things You Need Dust Cloth Emulsion Cleaner Varnish Remover Cotton Swab Paint Over time, fine art collectibles can lose some of their visual impacts due to dust, cobwebs, grime, water spots, and other wear and tear.
Luckily, there are ways to clean paintings on canvas that won't damage them and keep your art collection looking its best.
Step 1 Remove the painting from the wall. You can also remove the painting from the frame, but this is not required.
What you need
- dust cloth
- emulsified cleanser
- Varnish Remover
- cotton swab
- Acrylic paint
Fine art collections can lose some of their visual impact over time due to dust, cobwebs, grime, water damage, and other wear and tear. Luckily, there are ways to clean paintings on canvas that won't damage them and keep your art collection looking its best.
Remove the painting from the wall. You can also remove the painting from the frame, but this is not required. Tap the painting lightly to remove any loose dirt and dust. Then, gently wipe the surface of the painting with a light, lint-free cloth or a soft-bristled brush. That might be enough to restore a painting to its original luster.
Consider the value of this painting. If the piece is a prized heirloom or is of high value, please do not attempt to clean the painting beyond light dusting. Instead, hire a professional cleaner to restore the painting. The owner of a well-known gallery or quality antique store will recommend a professional art restorer.
Check the medium of painting on canvas. Watercolors and acrylic paints do not respond equally to liquid cleaners. For acrylic painting, try blowing the surface with a can of compressed air to remove embedded dirt. For watercolors, use a shucked piece of soft white bread to press against the surface of the painting and absorb dirt.
Try the liquid method of oil painting. Art supply stores sell emulsion cleaners (for dirt and smoke) and varnish removers (for yellowed varnishes) for cleaning oil paintings. Using a cotton swab, test a corner of the painting with the cleaner of your choice. Gently roll the cotton swab over the painting surface to make sure you are only removing dirt or paint, not removing paint.
Add the finishing touches. If necessary, varnish the oil painting. Polish the wood frame and clean the glass. Clean the area where the paintings are hung, making sure to vacuum or mop at the end to reduce the chances of dust particles rising in the air and sticking to the surface of the painting.
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning.
Do not clean paintings with loose paint.
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