Oil painting is one of the most durable painting techniques. If you follow a few simple rules, the painting will not change its appearance even after hundreds of years.
How to Store a Fresh Oil Painting
A fresh painting definitely needs air – such a painting should not be stored in impermeable packaging or framed with glass. Your painting needs air, as it can take up to a year for the paint layer to fully cure. Dense packaging creates a greenhouse effect, and the paint layer can flake off. But you shouldn’t keep the painting in a constant draught either!
What not to do, so as not to spoil the painting
Avoid direct sunlight
Direct sunlight will fade some pigments. The best light is diffused light. You can also use special backlighting, which is not heated, and does not distort the colors.
Don’t touch the painting with your hands
If you touch the painting with your finger, the colors in those places can fade over the years.
Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
Do not hang your painting where there is no consistent temperature and humidity. Painting should not be hung where it is exposed to the heat of ordinary incandescent light bulbs. Nor should it be hung in the kitchen near a stove, or in the immediate vicinity of heaters or under an air conditioner. Otherwise, the fabric will begin to appear microcracks.
Leaving home in the winter and turning off the heat completely will gradually spoil the painting. The damage may not be quick, but it will occur with constant exposure.
How to store the painting if you are not ready to hang it right away
Store the painting vertically. When you put it down, something (or someone) might fall, flop, or sit on your painting. Cover the painting with a cloth or put it in cardboard to protect it from dust . Do not rest the front or back of the stretched canvas on a sharp object. If you must lean the painting against something, lean it against a stretcher so nothing presses on the canvas.
If you are storing your paintings for a long period of time, we suggest that you periodically review them, remove dust, and change the cloth covering them.
Paintings to be preserved should be covered with cotton sheets, but not with polyethylene, which can cause mold.
How oil paintings are preserved in museums
It’s almost unrealistic to create museum-like conditions at home, but it’s better to know the principles.
Temperature – from 18-22 °C;
Protection from touch – expensive works are protected by glass;
Humidity – the ideal parameter is 55%;
Wind – it is also not allowed. Air conditioners and fans should not blow on oil paintings;
Light – direct sunlight should not fall on the canvas. Lamps should be placed at least 1 meter away;
How to keep and clean an oil painting
Remove dust and dirt regularly.
Dust, grease, soot, and fly marks will gradually pollute a painting if you don’t take care of it regularly. Cigarette smoke and automobile fumes add to the dirt and will make restoration necessary.
The best way to clean it is to wipe it gently with a velvet or flannel cloth or pad on the front and also on the back. If the painting has textured convex strokes, you can use a wide brush with a soft pile. Dust the painting gently from the top to the bottom.
When dusting the painting never bend or squeeze it, and don’t rub or scrub it with force.
Remember the wonderful movie “Mr. Bean” with Rowan Atkinson? In it, the main character sneezed on a famous work by American artist James Whistler. After which he started wiping it all off with a handkerchief and then with floorwashing chemicals. The result was a white stain that had to be restored. But it was no longer as good as the original.
To prevent this from happening, do not use water, cleaners or alcohol. Moisture is contraindicated for the painting! Do not use water to clean the painting, not even for the back side.
How to clean an oil painting from cigarette smoke
Cleaning an oil painting from cigarette smoke is a difficult and time-consuming process. The first thing you should do is to remove the dust from the painting. This can be done with a soft cloth, vacuum cleaner or brush. Next, you should use a dry brush to remove any residue of paint that may have been left by the smoke. It is also important to make sure that your brush does not cause any scratches in the paint surface.
Lastly, you can use a commercial solvent like turpentine or mineral spirits to remove any remaining residue of paint.
How do you safely clean an oil painting?
There are many ways to clean up oil paintings. One of the most common ways is to use a dry brush and lightly dusting off the surface of the painting.
Another way is to use a soft, lint-free cloth with water and blotting the paint surface.
The third way is to use a cotton swab dipped in turpentine and rubbing it on the paint surface gently.
Finally, you can also mix some dishwashing liquid with water in a spray bottle and misting over the painting until it dries.
How do you remove cigarette smell from canvas?
There are many ways to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a canvas. Some are more effective than others, but it all depends on the time and effort you want to put into it.
The best way to remove cigarette smell from canvas is by using a product called Odor-Eaters. It’s an enzyme that breaks down the odor molecules in tobacco smoke and prevents them from escaping back into the air. The only downside is that it takes about 24 hours for this solution to work its magic on your canvas, but if you’re in no hurry then this may be your best option.
Another way to get rid of cigarette smell is by spraying a mixture of water and vinegar onto the surface of your canvas and letting it dry for about an hour before you put anything else on top.
How do you remove smoke damage from a painting?
Paintings are delicate pieces of art and can be damaged by different factors. The most common way to damage a painting is through smoke.
Smoke damages paintings in two ways: first, it sticks to the paint and the varnish, which causes it to peel off or flake away. Second, it causes a chemical reaction that creates a black residue on the surface of the painting.
The best way to remove smoke damage from a painting is by using an organic solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits.