How do you clean old, age-darkened oil paintings?

  6 answers
  • DesertRose DesertRose on Mar 25, 2019

    They should be professionally cleaned since they are oil paintings, esp. if they have any value at all.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Mar 25, 2019

    Hi there - this site has a few ideas on cleaning oil paintings:

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 25, 2019

    I would take it to a pro, oil paintings can be tricky and I am sure you don't want to ruin your paintings by trying it by yourself. A pro may even tell you how to do it safely yourself and what to use to clean it.

    • Bbrown53 Bbrown53 on Mar 27, 2019

      I agree totally. My cousin who was an art major in college working towards his masters decided to clean 2 of my parents very old oil paintings - they did need cleaning- as he cleaned people appeared in the forest, as he continued they disappeared! If they have any value - or you don't know the value get a professional.

  • Lynn Lynn on Mar 30, 2019

    PLEASE don't try this at home...applying any type of cleaner to the surface can permanently damage or destroy a painting. Instead, call an art museum or reputable framer in your area to ask who they would recommend to clean them. The cleaning and restoration of original artwork is a very specialized field, and only those who are properly trained in it should be entrusted with your paintings. Oil paintings develop cracks as they age; a DIY treatment could cause areas of paint to loosen and fall off, or moisture to soak into the underlying canvas causing mildew, to name just two of many possible hazards. It would be a shame to ruin cherished family heirlooms that may be quite valuable. You're better off leaving them just as they are if you can't find a restoration expert in your area.