View Full Version : Oil Picture cleaning???

Bruce Volden
07-20-2017, 7:11 PM
I am wondering if anyone here has cleaned an oil on canvas picture? Yes I know I "should" take it and have it "professionally" cleaned.
Hoping someone on SMC has had good results on their own.
My grandma was an artist and I have several of her paintings. I just picked up another from my brother. His wife smoked in the house, and he is moving (downsizing)
since she passed on several years back.
ANY input is greatly appreciated.


Phil Mueller
07-20-2017, 7:37 PM
Hi Bruce,
Can't help with the cleaning...I would likely seek a professional. Once cleaned, though, you may want to apply a product called Gamblin Gamvar. It's a very watery varnish that is applied to the painting to protect it from future dust/dirt. It can be easily removed when needed for future cleaning. Many artists apply this on a finished painting. All good art stores should carry it.

Yonak Hawkins
07-20-2017, 9:12 PM
Here (http://www.art-care.com/articles/painting-conservation-step-by-step.html)'s a site that may get you started. I'm guessing it's a matter of finding the solvent that will remove the grime by testing on a small, hidden area.

Chet R Parks
07-22-2017, 7:15 PM
About 10-12 years ago I had the same problem with an old oil painting from my great grandmother. It was so grimy that it was hard to even see the painted picture. I found on the "internet" where someone suggested using Murphy's oil soap and gently rubbing the painting with vary soft white bread. In my totally inexperienced brain it made sense, oil soap, oil in bread and oil painting. I figured I had nothing to lose so I tried it. I didn't like the bread idea it kept "balling up" so I switched to a soft T shirt and it worked fine it really brightened up the painting, probably by 50%. I think I deluded the MOS with water 50-50. That's all I know about oil paintings and Murphy's oil soap, first and only experience with it. All I know is it worked on the painting I had. Good luck.