To clean and care for an oil painting at home, follow these key steps:
- Remove your painting from the wall and lay it on a flat surface.
- Gently dust off any superficial dust and dirt.
- Use a wedge of bread to dab the surface and absorb any remaining grime.
Oil painting is a great hobby to take up at any time in your life. Whether you’ve always had a creative streak or are simply keen to develop one now, painting a landscape, still life, or portrait in oils is a great place to start. Learning how to paint and maintain all your painting equipment are steps you know you'll have to take - but what about cleaning the painting itself? Restoring oil paintings is complex work normally handled by a professional but these are some basic tips you can follow to learn how do you clean an old oil painting at home.
How to clean an oil painting: what you’ll need
If you plan to clean oil painting at home, you’re going to need a bit of kit. Here are the materials you should have before you start:
- A soft brush such as a children’s toothbrush. It must be cleaned and sterilised.
- A loaf of unsliced bread.
- A knife to cut the bread.
- A flat surface on which to rest the painting.
How to clean an oil painting: a step-by-step guide
So, you’ve got all the equipment you need, now how do you clean an oil painting? Here is an easy-to-follow guide:
- Remove the painting from the wall and place it on a flat surface.
- Gently dust the painting from top to bottom with the toothbrush. Make sure the dust falls gently off the surface.
- Take a large chunk of bread and remove the insides, discarding the crust.
- Rub the bread gently over the surface of the painting. This is a great way to remove debris and grime that has built up.
- Use a new piece of bread whenever it starts to change colour - this will prevent you from transferring dirt from one part of the painting to another.
- Use the toothbrush to remove any breadcrumbs from the painting afterwards.
Knowing how to care for oil paintings on canvas is much easier than you think. With a soft toothbrush and a few slices of bread you can get your favourite painting looking as good as new again. Try this surprising tip today and see how you get on!