Nevertheless, in order to preserve their beauty for several years to come, you need to take extra efforts while handling and maintaining them. Otherwise, accumulation of dust and dirt tends to darken the painting. When it comes to maintenance, there are a myriad number of products in the market which are specially formulated for cleaning oil paintings.
It is not uncommon to damage such priceless possessions. An understanding of the basic tips to clean such pieces of art will help in preserving their pristine beauty. The instructions are discussed as follows.
First, gather all the items required like a brush with soft bristles, a cotton cloth, and vacuum cleaner (with micro attachment kit). If you are planning to clean both the back and front of the painting, then carefully remove the painting and place it on a plain surface. You can cover the back with a clean paper so as to prevent dirt accumulation.
Fix the micro nozzle in the vacuum and gently remove the dust and dirt from the surface of the painting. Clean the corners with a soft bristle brush. If it is hard to reach the corners with the vacuum or the brush, you can wipe out the dust by using a soft cloth.
In case the varnish (outer protective surface) of the painting turns yellowish or dull, you can check for a conservation liquid to clean the varnish. Check for the reliability of the product while purchasing it. You can apply the conservation liquid in one corner of the painting to test its reactions or after application effects.
If you find the conservation solution good to the varnish, then continue applying the product all over the painting surface by using a cotton swab. For better results, carry out this step in a room with proper ventilation.
Use a dampened cotton swab dip in distilled water to remove dirt from the surface. For an oily or sticky surface, you can prepare a solution by mixing a mild detergent in lukewarm water. Dampen a cotton cloth with the solution and clean the surface.
If there are any cracks or fissures on the surface, gentle cleaning with a soft cloth is preferable. In case you are planning to do a painting on canvas, make sure you do a spot test in one corner prior to cleaning the whole canvas.
If you are unsure about cleaning oil paintings, then consider hiring someone who is professionally competent. You can search for trustworthy professional conservators in your area who provide such services.