How to Properly Take Care of Fine Art
Advice on the proper care of fine art can be varied, contradictive, and sometimes worthless. The steps and processes used to properly clean, or otherwise hinder further damages, all depend on the damage done and the type of art being taken care of. One wouldn't use the same cleaning process on an oil painting as they would on a glicee on canvas like in Pino artwork. If such a thing was done the result could be disastrous.
An extremely popular medium for painting in homes, businesses, and museums is oil painting on canvas. Often times a protective coat or varnish, called impasto, is put onto the oil paints in order to protect them. However, this varnish reacts differently to environmental conditions than just regular oil paints do. The varnish can crack, yellow, or otherwise disintegrate. This can cause the oil paints to seem discolored themselves when in fact, they are perfectly okay. An owner can often buy solvent liquids at an art supply store that will allow them to take off the aged varnish and apply a new coat later. However, it is extremely important to consult with an expert to find the right kind of liquid to use. You don't want to damage your original!
Another kind of cleaning method of oil painting with impasto is to use bread to take off dirt and dust. The paints may be fragile so you can't just wipe a dust rag over it. While cleaning your paintings with bread may seem a little silly, it is a time honored trick that most painters and experts will recommend. By kneading the bread back into dough and gently rolling it over the painting you can pick up nearly all of the dirt and dust that has collected there. This will leave your painting looking good as new.
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There are numerous techniques such as this for keeping your fine art pieces in good condition. Which technique you use is not only dependent on the type of piece you are working with but the age of the piece as well. Older pieces will need to be treated with more care. Paintings will need different techniques than a photograph piece. However, the basic methods of care usually include lighting, humidity, temperature, and cleaning.
There are types of light that are very harsh on art pieces and can actually aid in the degradation process. Some pieces, especially older pieces, will likely need some sort of humidity regulator to keep the paints, pastels, etc. from degrading at an appreciable rate. Likewise for temperature which can age paintings if it is too high. And most importantly: cleaning. Always know the proper technique for cleaning your piece in order to avoid damage, either by your hand or by natural causes.
Whatever piece of art you wish to take care of, keep in mind that the process of keeping it in good condition might require the help of an expert in the field of conservation of art. It is never a good idea to fly blind or otherwise experiment with the varied methods used to keep fine art in good condition. You might end up doing more harm than good.
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