Featured Advice on paying to clean this oil painting

Discussion in 'Art' started by Potteryplease, Apr 1, 2024.

  1. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    I really like this oil painting that I bought 6 months ago. It's 16" x 19" (40 x 48 cm), on board, and is unsigned.

    The problem is the painting looks yellow and dirty. Is it beyond restoration? The yellow frame doesn't help that, so I pictured both in the frame and out.

    Should I pay to have this cleaned? Any advice? (I'm hesitant to try this one myself.)

    IMG_9293.jpeg IMG_9295.jpeg IMG_9294.jpeg IMG_9297.jpeg IMG_9298.jpeg

    Now, one last thing. This iPhone here in my hand does automatic color enhancement, and the pictures looks less yellow than the actual painting in real life, so I offer this last picture next to another small painting I have to better show what true colors look like:

    Thank you as always for any comments!
  2. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Yellow on an old painting is usually the varnish going off. On something this recent, it's probably nicotine. :sorry: It is cleanable, but I'm still trying to suss out the correct method for a painting I own with a similar issue. Normally I've had instant success with a cotton swab in light touch of a water + dish soap mixture on other items. For paintings some say never use water, some say a little is fine, especially with a varnished piece. And all the reference I can find is focused on bad varnish, not bad habits! :rolleyes: Restorers do not give their secrets up easily!!

    If you want to pay someone (and it wouldn't be cheap) you can see who is near you with this American Institute for Conservation...if you're American. I know there are similar groups in Europe, etc.
  3. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    that frame is a sin.....
    but....u like the artwork.......clean it.....enjoy it every day....
  4. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    You could try some spit on a q-tip in an inconspicuous corner…
  5. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that idea. I tried that, very lightly, and it didn't make much of a difference here. I'm hesitant to do much more myself, as I've now tried that on two other paintings I have. On one it worked, slightly, and on the other I think I actually damaged it a bit-- some of the paint seemed to actually come off.
    Aquitaine, johnnycb09 and Any Jewelry like this.
  6. charlie cheswick

    charlie cheswick Well-Known Member

    ive seen the lady on bbcs the repair shop using bread crumbs to clean grime etc off an oil painting

    look into it first though as a method, theres probably apposing views on it

    ive tried it before and it works, but that was on something i didnt much care for
    Aquitaine and Potteryplease like this.
  7. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Nice painting. The sky is a bit van Gogh-esque.

    Btw, the -ogh part of van Gogh is pronounced the same as the Scottish pronunciation of 'loch'. No need to ignore the -gh.:playful:
    Agree. If that is the case here, which I think it is, cleaning the surface won't help. You will need a professional to remove the old varnish and apply a fresh coat.
  8. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    A professional conservator should be able to give you a brief assessment and cost estimate for a minimal fee. Then you could decide how to proceed.

    I do not have personal experience with these folks, but their information sounds good. They are located in Portland, OR, and say they provide a 30 minute consultation for free for new clients, which would allow you to check them out.

  9. Lark

    Lark Well-Known Member

    I dapple in painting and would love to paint like this. It is so crisp. One can almost feel the wind in your face as you dip your fishing lure into the stream. I say paintings like this one "are alive".
  10. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    Wow--thanks @2manybooks! I'll start with them.

    I totally agree @Lark. It appeals to me for the same reasons. Thanks for saying it so well!
    Any Jewelry, johnnycb09 and komokwa like this.
  11. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    I think its lovely as is ! Change that frame or paint the one you have and it will totally change the way it looks. Im a huge believer in changing frames,wich causes my art boardies to screech in horror. Who painted it? is that a signature in the lower right corner ?
  12. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

    No! Sadly. There's no signature anywhere I can see.... and I've looked!!
    johnnycb09 likes this.
  13. KylieS

    KylieS Well-Known Member

    Varnish can go yellow quite quickly if it's not great quality and / or if the painting is left in lots of UV light. Pro restoration (or at least advice!) definitely recommended.
    Potteryplease likes this.
  14. Potteryplease

    Potteryplease Well-Known Member

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