BADA is the leading trade association for the fine art, design and antiques community. Read our guide to caring for antique oil paintings.
Handling antique oil paintings
Before handling antique oil paintings 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.
Always use two hands when carrying antique art works..
Oil paintings suffer from exposure to fluctuations in temperature. Never hang paintings 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. They can also alter the tone of unprimed or unvarnished works.
Cleaning antique oil paintings
Cleaning should always be undertaken by an experienced restorer.
Assuming there are no indications of loose paint, it is usually safe to dust occasionally with a soft artists brush.
Never use brushes or dusters, as they can scratch the surface of a painting.
Also avoid soft dusters, as loose fibres may catch on areas of raised paint.
A dry paint surface, cracking, and discolouration of the varnish are clear indications that your oil painting needs urgent attention.
If your oil paintings show signs of any of these issues, consult a BADA dealer who will able to recommend a reliable restorer.