How to clean oil painting

+5
Answered
I have an old oil painting (a wedding gift to my mother in 1967) and I happen to know the artist. Question is: I know it hung in a house where there was likely smokers for nearly 30 years- how can I clean it?
q how to clean oil painting
  7 answers
  • Bennie Carlson Bennie Carlson on Apr 10, 2017
    I use a mild mix of Dawn dishwasher soap and water on a soft cloth. When you get as much off as possible, let it dry thoroughly. After completely dry, coat the painting with Winsor Newton Liquid - Original (Hobby Lobby). I apply this with a soft wide brush or the sponge brushes from the Dollar Tree. I carefully go in one direction and then go back in the opposite direction with the coats. This usually helps to bring out highlights and original colors.
  • William William on Apr 10, 2017
    If the painting has any value DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN IT. Take it to a professional conservator. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to do the cleaning properly. You could destroy the painting and any value it has. Especially not know what products to use.
  • Sheri Tovcimak Sheri Tovcimak on Apr 11, 2017
    I actually cleaned a lot of grime off of an oil painting with a few pieces of bread. Just roll it into a ball and dab lightly over the painting. Use a soft, clean paintbrush to wipe away any crumbs left. It works!
    • Roylene Roylene on Apr 11, 2017
      I've used a cheap white bread to clean my oil paintings and it works marvelously with no damage to the painting whatsoever. I learned this trick in an antiques class I was taking from the instructor.

  • Aunt myrrh Aunt myrrh on Apr 12, 2017
    I have heard that professionals actually use saliva or spit to clean valuable paintings - not joking
  • Ginny Ginny on Apr 13, 2017
    Take it to a professional or speak with the artist who did the painting. He/she should surely know what to do. Why skimp on something so precious to you?
  • Kathleen Basiewicz Kathleen Basiewicz on Apr 17, 2017
    I always use distilled vinegar. Do not spray the vinegar on the painting, spray it on a cloth rag and gently rub the cloth over the painting. Cheap but works will. I have a portrait that is 65 years old and never once had to pay to have it cleaned.
  • Crystal Meyer Griffith Crystal Meyer Griffith on Apr 18, 2017
    I had bought a painting that was about 20 yrs old in a storage locker sale. Either oil or acrylic. I called the artist who was actually in residence in the Keys where we were living. Went to her house. She took it out of the frame and proceeded to get out her vegetable scrub brush and scrubbed it in the kitchen sink with dish detergent. I almost had a heart attack! Laid it out in the sun to dry while we had some tea. Then she put a coating all over it and set it out to dry! No harm, no foul!