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(11) comments about this tip

Cleaning Oil Paintings

If you have a few oil paintings that are looking a bit dirty and dusty you can clean them yourself and save a bundle of money! To clean oil paintings simply use a cloth clean cloth, a few cotton buds and a spray bottle of mild dish soap and warm water. Spray only a tiny bit of the mixture and wipe until dry carefully getting all the water out of any cracks. After the painting is dry you can wipe with a wax or furniture polish to make the painting shine!

It goes without saying that if you feel that the painting is in anyway valuable that you seek the advice of a professional before even touching your painting.

Please read comments below before proceeding further

Visitors comments

Wrong tip-Wrong advice. Comments By: Rodney on 2005-01-23
Never use water on oil paintings. this can cause a white milky reaction to your painting. special so;vents are availab,e to vclean the painting. It is a painstaking event. TAKE YOUR TIME/. Never dampen the canvas it can cause streaching.
Use GoJo hand cleaner Comments By: Melissa on 2005-03-09
My mother and I talked to a professional about cleaning smoke and grease residue off of my late grandmothers oil painings. We were told to use GoJo Hand Cleaner, the orignal, not the orange scented or the abrasive formulas.

Use a soft cloth, dip it into the cleaner (it comes in a tub and is a paste), gently wipe the cleaner onto the painting using a circlar motion. The residue will come right off restoring the color.

soap WRONG! GoJo okay Comments By: frank on 2005-04-02
Of course the cleaning method differs given the medium used to create the painting. One should never use soap and water on old, traditional oil paintings. A reaction occurs with the chemical in the oil paint, and the painting can milk up in an instant. Yes, the hand cleaner, GoJo, which has the natural oil 'Lanolin'
is usually a good agent. Use sparingly, gently and in one small area at a time.

If your in doublt see a specialist Comments By: Jan on 2006-07-09
I am sn Artist and some of the NEW oils are water soluable---- don't put water on an oil painting ever no matter what! Sometimes it might be ok but it might not so do you want to take the chance? When I paint it takes me days to think someone would damage it in seconds breaks my heart
why have this tip? Comments By: Rachel on 2009-03-31
As this is obviously a tip that could cause damage to paintings, why is this tip still on the site? If I hadn't clicked on the comments , I may have gone ahead and used water on my Father's painting, which priceless to me!

TipKing says: I have put a warning on the tip. Thank you

Bread and water cleaning tips. Comments By: anon on 2009-10-09
I just want to say I agree regards the water tip why leave on site tips that could bring disaster.Is'nt it great though that bread may do the trick I wonder who discovered that one,mind you here is a thought bread today is not like the bread of the past,so if this is a hand me down tip todays bread may not have the same affect,any one tried it lately!
Bread Comments By: Jake on 2009-11-21
My mother who was an artist said that bread was a good way of cleaning an oil painting, haven't tried it !
Nice paintings Comments By: markswagan on 2010-05-06
Nice to repaint .

good works ,will repaint in our website:

Cleaning Oil Paintings Comments By: smileyjax on 2010-09-04
NEVER ,EVER ,EVER !! use water based cleaners on an oil painting, and never 'wipe with a cloth' ( as is recommended above)- the cloth could snag on any delicate/ flaking areas and pull the paint off-- and then you are faced with a much more expensive job. Cleaning of paintings should always be undertaken by a trained professional--thats why there is a profession dedicated to 'Fine Art Restorers'- if it was a process as easy as is stated above,the profession would not exist!!. Please bear this in mind, before you potentially wreck your painting- a surface clean will not break the bank, and can be done properly. See:
A brilliant restorer, and very reasonably priced.

bread cleaning..... Comments By: smilleyjax on 2010-09-12
Following on from the comment I left above, someone has said that cleaning a painting with bread is cheap and good- sorry, but this is an 'old wives tale.!'. The bread contains yeasts & sugars which can set up bacterial growths on the paintings surface, which could also 'infect'if it gets behind the paint layer... ''bread crumb'- used to be recommended to do a surface clean on old etchings on paper--- but NOT oil paintings.In this same line of 'old wives tales',- 'stale urine & salt' used to be 'wiped' all over a paintings surface, and then rinsed off with a bucket of water'...and wrecked many an old canvas.... !
I must stress that if you value your painting- get a professional to do it for you...see the link above to :-
It really is'nt expensive to have a clean done properly, ((and if you are basing your 'costing knowledge' on a recent BBC2 antique restoring series- with a very expensive art restorer)- please think again... not everyone is as pricey as that one !!!

cleaning Comments By: [email protected] on 2011-04-09
So what do I use to restore oil paintings???Have several, may wanna do em my self!!!

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