Portrait of a gentleman from the circle of Cornelis Ketel antique oil paintings

A BADA guide to the care of antique oil paintings.


Handling oil paintings

Before handling antique oil paintings it is advisable to remove jewellery or watches that could snag the surface.

Make sure that your hands are clean or wear cotton gloves to reduce contact with the paint.

Never carry a painting by the top of the frame or by its stretcher, and always use two hands.


Hanging advice

Oil paintings suffer from exposure to fluctuations in temperature so avoid hanging close to a heat source, such as a radiator or working fireplace.

Exposure to direct sunlight will fade colours over time. The use of ultraviolet filtering glass can reduce the risk of fading.

Soot and smoke from open fire places can also cause lasting damage and alter the tone of unprimed or unvarnished works.


Cleaning antique oil paintings

Cleaning should never be undertaken by anyone other than an experienced restorer.

However, assuming there are no indications of loose paint, it is usually safe to dust oil paintings occasionally with a soft artists brush.

Never use brushed or dusters which can scratch the surface of a painting and avoid soft dusters as fibres may catch on areas of raised paint.
 

Warning signs

A dry paint surface, cracking and discolouration of the varnish are all key indications that your oil painting needs urgent attention.


Professional guidance

If your oil paintings are showing signs of any of these issues, we recommend consulting a BADA dealer who will able to recommend an experienced and reliable restorer.
 


To view BADA dealers who specialise in Oil Paintings click here

To browse a selection of Oil Paintings online click here

For advice on caring for antique Watercolours click here

For advice on caring for antique Drawings click here

For BADA recommended specialists in packing and shipping antiques and fine art click here