Cleaning Oil On Canvas Paintings

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Cleaning an oil painting on canvas is a delicate procedure using special solvent. Clean an oil painting on canvas with tips from a professional artist in this free video on painting.

Part of the Video Series: Acrylic & Oil Painting Tips
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to talk about cleaning an oil painting. Cleaning an oil painting is really, rather easy, but for inexperienced hands, it can lead to a disaster. Take for example, this. This is a painting that has issues here. It's got a crack. It's also got some dirt, and it's got some areas, that looks like the canvas has been stretched in the wrong way. By cleaning an oil painting, it will bring out not only the light, but it will create a sense that the painting is fresh and new. Some of the issues of cleaning an oil painting, are that if you over clean the painting, you're going to get what's known as abrasion, and what that means, is that you're going too deep into what the artist originally did. Thus, leaving the painting pretty flat, and taking away some of the paint. There are solvents that you can use. You use them with a very soft cloth, or sometimes even with a Qtip, depending on how much you want to take off. You dip the cloth in the solvent. In this case, for the most part, turpentine or something like that, and you gently rub to get the loose dirt. Once you've done that, as you can see, there is dirt that's come off. Once you've done that, you can get a Qtip. In this case, I will do a brush, and literally dip that brush into the solvent, and little by little, take off the dirt.

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