Clean and Varnish Paintings
An oil painting should always be varnished. The appearance is improved a great deal with much better color saturation. Most of all it protects the art. The varnish collects the dirt, dust pollution, etc. After several years, the varnish can be removed along with the contamination, then it can be be cleaned and re-varnished.
The first varnish should not be done until about 6 months after the painting is finished. Some artists apply varnish right away, this is not good because the varnish bonds with the fresh paint, so that when it is removed it will remove a little of the paint. If a painting has been done a few years with no varnish, we will clean the emulsion before the first varnish.
We offer professional varnish removal, cleaning, re-varnish, touch up, repair of holes and tears, relining, and more. We use only professional grade materials not available to most frame shops. Many paintings require a 6-8 step process. We know enough to determine if the work needs to be sent to a conservator.
In the past, acrylic paintings would never be varnished because it can’t be removed without some of the paint will also being removed. But times have changed! We now have a coating that can be applied before the varnish that solves this problem. The varnish can then be removed without disturbing the acrylic paint.
A word about our service. Just about every frame shop offers “cleaning and varnish and repair”. Their procedure is the same as ours was years ago. We are fortunate to have a couple of experts to offer us continuing education and consultation and make it possible to get the chemicals and materials needed. I never worried about paint fumes etc in our high ceiling shop. For this I had to install a big dust collector to blow outside. (hard on utilities ) We will explain everything your painting may need, and give you updates as we go.