Friday, March 4, 2016

Cleaning Thrift Store Art

I found this painting buried in a second hand shop.  The painting is in great shape for being 41 years old but was very dirty.  Dust, cobwebs, and mud splatters were on the frame and canvas. I'm not sure if the paint is oil or acrylic but it is on a stretched canvas. I love the colors and that it was painted by a local woman.  It just feels very much like our new home here in Oregon.

Before getting into this, I need to say that I would never do any of these techniques to a piece of artwork that I believed to be valuable or was truly dear to me.

Doesn't look to bad huh?!  But here is a close up of the canvas:
Mud splatters and a dirty frame.

A Google search turned up a suggestion to rub the painting with a slice of bread then brush the crumbs away.  Let me tell you - it worked like a charm!  The dirt splatters lifted right up without having to use a damp cloth or other cleaning agent.
Dirty bread - can I get a collective yuck!
Mud splatters be gone!
Next, I wanted to address the wood frame which was also stained and filthy.  It was lightly painted with a metallic paint.  Nothing too garish but I wanted to warm up the tone.

I taped the edge of the canvas off from the frame, after testing in a corner whether the tape would lift the paint.  I lightly sanded the frame and dirt that came up was so gross!  I applied a coat of black walnut tinted danish oil.  After wiping the oil away, the change isn't dramatic but it nourishes the dried out wood and warmed up its tone.

I'm so pleased with how the painting cleaned up and now looks in our house.  Most importantly, I love having a piece of art that celebrates our new home by a local artist.