Objet d'Art Restoration
PLEASE CLICK ON OUR EXAMPLES BELOW
THE PAINTING TO THE RIGHT
We specialze in the restoration and repair of fine art, prints, porcelaine, collectibles, objects of art and frames. There are many examples below which will give you a better idea of our skill sets. Oil painting repair and restoration is one of our favorite areas.
Oil painting conservation can repair many conditions, from torn canvas, discolored varnish, smoke damage to flaking pigment and simple deterioration over time. Painting conservation and repair has evolved over the years with the use of non-destructive methods and reversible materials and techniques.
Paintings gradually darken with age due to atmospheric pollution, smoking and varnish discoloration due to the sun’s UV rays. Tobacco smoke, fire damage soot and normal contaminants in the air will slowly soil the pigment surface. Old varnishes have a tendency to yellow naturally over time to diminish the original color and vibrancy of your painting. Rippled corners and loose and dry rotted canvas cause the paint and ground to deteriorate, resulting in the eventual flaking of pigment. All of these conditions can be restored with the utmost of respect and care for the art work.
Lining is the process of applying a new canvas support to the back of an existing painting. A wax/resin is heated and ironed through the new canvas into the back of the original canvas to stabilize the old canvas and the paint. In the past a new canvas would be glued to the original; now wax/resin is used. The wax/resin method is superior to glue because it is easily removed and thus does not permanently alter the artwork like a glue lining does. All conservation should be reversible. The lining process consolidates the pigment and prepares the work of art for the rest of the conservation process.
Relining is the same as lining, only it refers to a painting that has been previously lined. Previous linings must be removed before a new lining can be performed.
Face Lining is the process of stabilizing the face of a painting (the actual paint layer) by adding a canvas to the front to secure the paint while work is done on the reverse side. This process is used to remove the original paint layer from the original substrate (canvas, wood panel etc.) and then re-attach the paint to a new canvas support using the wax/resin method of lining. After this point the art work begins.
Old Frames in bad condition can be beautifully restored to “near original” condition, saving all the patina possible depending on the depth of deterioration. By using existing ornamentation on the frame, missing or broken sections can be replaced by molding and casting the good sections or wooden pieces can be re-carved.
Once a cast or carved piece is glued into place, the finish is “tied-in” to match, or the entire frame is refinished if the finish is gone. If the original finish is intact at all, then every attempt to preserve the original finish is made. All refinishing will be done with reference to the original period finish.
Oil painting cleaning and conservation involves careful testing to ensure appropriate chemical solutions are used to remove the discolored varnish and not the pigment. After cleaning the painting, applying a fresh coat of clear, non-yellowing varnish makes a remarkable difference in the physical appearance of a painting.
After repairs are made to the damaged canvas, a layer of isolating varnish is applied for reversibility. Specialized conservation pigments are used, followed by a protective varnish. All inpainting is completely reversible.
WHAT IS DISCOLORED VARNISH?
The artist’s original varnish, made from natural resins, discolors with time and as a result interferes with the artist’s original color scheme underneath. This discoloration is brought on by a yellow chemical by-product, activated in the original varnish by UV light in the environment over time. The degree of discoloration varies, depending on the type of varnish, how thickly it was applied, and the amount of UV light exposure the painting endured over its life. The purpose of removing discolored varnish is to reveal the artist’s originally intended color scheme.
A conservator is required to have the necessary chemistry knowledge and skills to remove old varnish by using a mixture of various organic solvents, without affecting the original paint layers underneath. In each painting, the solubilities of the old varnish and the original paint layers are unique, but sometimes very similar in their chemical composition, raising the risk that removing the varnish might lead to removing the artist’s paint strokes. Therefore, a properly trained conservator must customize the mixture for each treatment to target only the varnish layer and not affect the artist’s paint layer.
Cleaning is a two part process, consisting of surface cleaning and removing discolored varnish.
The purpose of surface cleaning is to remove grime, dirt and other kinds of build-up, prior to the next step of removing discolored varnish. The amount and type of build-up vary from one painting to another, depending on the environment where the painting has lived. Has the painting been in a dusty storage area or in an environment polluted by tobacco smoke? Then we carefully remove the old and yellowed varnish to expose the true color and tone of the painting.
No matter how severe the damage, our professional conservators at Buckhead Fine Restorations can properly restore objects of art or deteriorated paintings with worn or even ripped canvas, flaking pigment and discolored varnish. After carefully examining your painting, a complete evaluation of its condition and a cost estimate will be provided before any work is started. All estimates are based on time and material, not on the value of the piece. Complete photo and written documentation are provided upon request.
Holes, rips and tears, or loose, rippled canvas are all common occurrences due to accidents, improper handling or storage. All types of conservation - simple surface cleaning, relining, extensive inpainting, the most challenging panel transfer, casting missing frame parts and gilding or gold leafing - can be masterfully executed by the conservators at Buckhead Fine Restorations.