Oil Painting Care Guide

To keep your painting in tip top shape, here are some general guidelines to help you out.

  1. Placement: Keep the painting away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity. Choose a stable environment with moderate temperature and humidity levels to prevent cracking or warping of the canvas.
  2. Handling: Always handle the painting with clean hands and avoid touching the surface of the painting. Hold it by the frame or edges to prevent damage to the paint.
  3. Cleaning: Dust the painting regularly with a soft, dry brush or a microfiber cloth.
  4. Storage: If you need to store the painting, ensure it’s in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area. Store it vertically and avoid stacking other items on top of it to prevent pressure on the canvas.
  5. Protection: If you’re transporting or storing the painting, wrap it in acid-free paper or bubble wrap. Avoid using plastic directly on the painting as it can create moisture.
  6. Avoiding Hazards: Keep the painting away from smoke, cooking fumes, and areas with high levels of airborne pollutants to prevent discoloration or damage to the paint.
  7. Professional Care: Consider having the painting professionally cleaned by a qualified conservator if it shows signs of damage. They have the expertise to handle delicate cleaning and restoration processes.

A Special Note on Cleaning

For surface dirt, use a soft cloth slightly dampened with a mild solution of water and a gentle soap (like a pH-balanced soap). Due to its low pH level and mild properties, olive oil-based soap is often considered the most effective soap to use. Test on a small, inconspicuous area first. Gently dab the surface without rubbing or applying pressure.

DO NOT use cleaners with alcohols or solvents. DON’T use bread, potatoes, or baby oil (popular cleaning myths).