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Picture Restoration

The magic of turning old to new

Picture Restoration

As well as a complete bespoke picture framing service, we also provide a picture restoration service. This is most likely to be for oil paintings on either stretched canvas or board, watercolours and other original works of art on paper.

For an example of a typical restoration project, older oil paintings have often been hanging in rooms with open fires and the subsequent smoke damage will have reduced the brightness and colour of the original oil. This process can be reversed by removing the old varnish along with most of the dirt and re-varnishing the oil. The oil painting may also need to be relined or attached onto newer canvas to add strength and stability to the oil. All of these processes are undertaken at the Petersfield Framing Studios. Each item is assessed individually and a quote for the necessary work is provided free of charge and without any commitment by you the customer.

Here are some examples of customer's work that have been repaired at the Petersfield Framing Studios.

This first example is an oil painting that was painted on straw board.

The oil painting itself was in a reasonable condition but over the years dirt had gathered on the painting surface. This could quite often be smoke damage from where oils would be hung over a chimney breast. Or possibly from cigarette or pipe smoke. A real clue in how clean the oil could become was evident on the edges of the painting. The oil had obviously been in a frame for most of its life and the rebate of the frame had kept the edge of the oil in it's original state. Hence the restoration process should reveal far more colour in the oil. Here is a photo of the oil painting half way through the cleaning stage:

The image is really starting to be rediscovered and this is probably the most exciting stage where previously unseen detail comes into view and the picture is returned to how the artist intended it to be viewed. This stage will involve the removal of any varnish that may have been used on the oil painting's surface.

The oil painting is now completely cleaned and the appropriate varnish is re-applied to the surface to protect the oil painting. This particular image proved very successful and the results are very obvious. However sometimes on subject matter with darker backgrounds (internal portraits for example) the cleaning process may not be as noticeable.

Here are a few more examples of restoration starting with an oil painting of a young boy with his dog:

Notice how fine detail such as the dog's ears and the boy's hair are returned into view after restoration.

Here a portrait of a young lady in a blue dress has also been repaired:

Perhaps the most exciting part of this restoration project is the reduction of the tear to the left of the girl's head and also to the left of the flower pot. Also notice how the detail of the flower pot has been recovered and also the amazing colours such as the red curtain on the right hand side.

Works of art on paper (such as watercolours or prints) can also be restored with similarly pleasing results. Here is an engraving of the area around High Wycombe:

Here the results of restoration are immediately obvious in the colour of the paper. Detail is also returned such as the birds flying by in the sky.

These are only a few examples of what can be restored. It should be pointed out the the process of picture restoration is not a quick one. Estimates can be provided free of charge for any work and please contact us for more information.

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