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The Cleaning of Paintings

The cleaning of paintings is a very delicate and time consuming task.
Broadly one can differentiate between:

  • surface cleaning 

  • varnish removal 

  • removal of over-paint

Depending on the nature of the substance that covers the original paint structure a variety of solvents, soaps, enzymes and mechanical techniques are at the restorer’s disposal to remove these discoloring layers.

The intricacies of the cleaning process should not be underestimated.
Paintings, just like their creators, are complex and highly individual by nature.

Here some examples of paintings in their various stages of the cleaning process.

layers of nicotine and smoke


surface dirt, discoloured varnish and over-paint


non original discoloured varnish and over-paint removal – before and after

surface dirt, non original discoloured varnish and severe over-paint was removed


surface dirt and slightly discoloured original varnish – before and after

Each and every work requires, deserves and needs specific attention and treatment.