'Restoration' is a general term used to describe a range of processes that can be done to restore a painting to its original aesthetic appearance, including the replacement of lost paint in a sympathetic manner in keeping with the original.
Over time, the vibrancy and physical condition of oil paintings can be compromised by many factors — from years of tobacco smoke, smoke from fireplaces the effects of water damage, damage incurred during display or storage, darkening due to the chemical changes of the original protective varnish, and simply the slow, progressive deterioration caused by air born dust, with the dust from modern car tyres being a particular problem. “Restoration” is the general term used to describe a range of processes that can be done to restore an oil/acrylic painting to its original aesthetic appearance.
In broad terms, the processes involved in painting restoration include:
Painting cleaning - cleaning of dirt, smoke, and the accumulated “stuff” that adheres to the surface of a painting.
Original varnish removal, over time, varnish begins to darken, ‘it’s as if you are viewing the painting though amber-brown tinted glasses’. Combined with the accumulation of years of dirt, smoke and grime, the result is a painting that has become dark with many details obscured or lost.
The repair and stabilization of the picture support i.e. Wood panel, metal, paper, cardboard, composition board and canvas
Painting restoration is a work of art. The careful and precise mixing and application of paint, replicating the original artist’s technique, will allow a casual or trained viewer to enjoy a unified work of art.