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Caring For Your Oil Painting
Paintings and their frames are made of several different materials.
These oil paintings include: varnish, glue, paint, canvas, wood, metal, gilding and plaster. Put all together they would form a complex structure, which could be easily damaged if dropped or knocked. The materials are also too sensitive and could be damaged by its surrounding atmosphere, extremes and changes in humidity and heat, amount of light and dirt.
Survival of an oil painting depends on:
•Keeping the painting in a good environment.
•Sensible usage, storage and display.
What can go wrong with your painting?
•Tears, punctures and holes, drooping canvas, bulges and dents, crack canvas edges.
•Splits distort and break in wood. Insect damage (wood worm):
•Cracked, loose or peeling paint, lost paint, desertion, yellow varnish, dirt and dust, whitening, mould or mildew on the facade, disintegrating flames.
What can be done?
•If you feel that these is a problem with your painting or you wish to find out more about its condition contact a paintings conservator.
•Save any pieces if they have fallen off, even if they are small. Keep them safely in a bag or an empty envelope as they could be fitted back on painting.
•Do not ever try to repair or cleaning yourself. This is a skilled procedure and need to be done only by fully skilled conservator.
•The use of backboards is suggested as a vital preventive conservation measure.
Moving your painting
Tears, holes, cuts and dents are most probably to happen when your oil painting is off the wall. If you plan further, these damages could be usually avoided.
•If you are decorating, take your painting out of the room before you start work on it.
•When off the wall rest face out beside a clear wall or padded facade, away from doorways, furniture and passing people;
•Always ensure your hands are very sparkling and dry, or wear clean gloves;
•Make sure the painting is steadily fitted into the frame;
•When moving your painting; it has to face towards your body and use both hands. one to hold the edge and the other to support it from beneath;
•Paintings with glass or those with envisage frames could be heavy, you might require two people.
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