Helen Houp Art Conservation

Fine Art Conservation

Removal of surface films

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The photograph below shows the detail of a painting whose surface appears disfigured with a layer of nicotine, darkened varnish and grime. The surface films are tested to insure safe removal without damaging original paint. Below are photographs of a painting before, during and after cleaning. Attentiveness is paramount in the choice of a solvent selected for cleaning as some pigments are even sensitive to distilled water. A mistake could result in damage to the artist's work.

During treatment, detail of grime/varnish removal, normal lightDuring treatment, detail of grime/varnish removal, normal light

 

Occasionally, removal of varnishes and overpaint reveal unexpected surprises:

Painting before cleaningPainting before cleaning Cleaning  of painting reveals angels and rosary in handCleaning of painting reveals angels and rosary in hand

 


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Detailed cleaning