Restoration

Ornate mirror restoration
Ornate Mirror Restoration
Ornate Mirror Restoration

We restore a wide range of artwork, from oil paintings to ornate frames and works on paper, using a wide range of techniques and processes and applying the greatest sensitivity to the original craftsmanship. Read more

Restoration of Oil Paintings
Every restoration is different, and we recommend that clients come and discuss their requirements with us. We offer a free evaluation and estimate (and are comprehensively insured for this). After consultation, once the best course of action has been agreed, oil paintings can be expertly cleaned, varnish removed, re-stretching can take place where necessary, as well as relining or patching using wax method and repairs to tears. This is one of the areas where our years of experience comes into its own; you will be in the safest of hands.

Cleaning
Tests are made to determine the strength of cleaning solution required, and this is then carefully applied, giving informed consideration to the varnish or, in cases where there is no varnish, the paint layer.

Varnish Removal
Again, we test to ascertain solution strength and time required to soften the varnish in question before it is removed. Varnish is lifted, not rubbed, so as to avoid any paint erasure of more volatile colours and delicate glazes.

Relining
Linen, or a textile that matches the original with the same linen, is usually used, either this or a textile that matches the original with the exact same amount of warp and weft to the square inch. The new linen is stretched to the same tension as the original. The back of the painting is cleaned and the new relining canvas applied using the wax method. The wax method is easily reversible—as opposed to using glue. It follows that, since old pictures are made of organic materials, wax is ideal for relining, and it also acts the best preservative for the future.

Patches
Patches are used to repair tears where relining is not required. The patches are made to extend beyond the region of the tear, which takes up the canvas tension, and the edges of the patch are chamfered so they will not show at the front.

Touching in
Where torn or missing areas need filling in, first Gesso is applied to raise the level of the surface as required. The paint used is mixed in the studio from pure pigments. These have the slowest rate of change which means the touching in work will last much, much longer without becoming noticeable.

Revarnishing
All varnish applied is distilled in the studio from the highest grade picture varnish resin. This finish enriches the picture, protects it and gives it depth, without any of the artificial antique sheen you get with commercially-made, ready-mixed varnish. In the case of oil painting, a microcrystalline preservative wax is then brushed on to give further protection.

Restoration of Ornate Frames
These are firstly degreased. Any missing parts are cast using reinforced plaster, or hand-moulded and fitted in place. The new parts are coated with the same boll and gilt tone as the original frame, before being toned down to match the aged original; where gold is missing more can be added to the high points without the need for over painting. The whole frame is then polished to bring up the duller areas and give the whole a new lease of life.

Restoration Works on Paper
These are cleaned and dried naturally. Whether it’s watercolours, engravings or prints, we never use any bleaching.