How to handle a musty oil painting?

Published: Friday 09 February, 2018

1. You can smear two layers of natural beeswax dissolved in turpentine in the back of the canvas, which can completely prevent the immersion of humid air.


2. Oil painting should avoid being exposed to the direct sunlight because the ultraviolet radiation is very destructive to the color as it can cause discoloration. 


3. You should ventilate the room properly and keep the oil painting away from the bathroom and kitchen to prevent dust, oil smoke and mold damage to the canvas. Pay attention that the room should be kept at a certain temperature and humidity. If unfortunately the artwork is affected with damp, you’d better let it dry in the shade instead of leaving it in the heat of the sun, otherwise, the paint is prone to come off.


4. Two pieces of oil painting can’t be rolled together with their picture side because the temperature rise may make the paint stuck and drop, which can damage the quality of oil paintings.


5. The first step to roll an oil painting rightly is to roll its picture side outside with a paper tube of more than four inches. The next step is to wrap a plastic sheet around the oil painting.


6. If the painting on the wall becomes dusty, you just need to rub it gently with a piece of wet and clean cloth. If there is lampblack on it, try to scrub it with soap-suds and clean water, and then mop it up quickly and blow the moisture off with an electric fan. However, be aware that an oil painting which has been kept for many years should touch the water as less as possible.


7. Some people would buy professional polish oil for maintenance, this is OK, but before the spray, do wipe up the picture side with a piece of clean cloth. In addition, some professional auctioneers and galleries also carry on the business of cleaning oil paintings.


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