How Does Art Restoration Work?

Just like humans, art ages over time. As the years pass, light, regular moves or transfers, and normal wear and tear can cause the colors that once defined a piece to fade and surfaces to fray or become damaged. Sometimes, particularly delicate pieces can become damaged or develop holes, rips, and other blemishes.

The process of art restoration intends to preserve a work’s original beauty for future generations of owners and viewers. Art conservation, a complementary field, is the science of preventing degradation to a work of art to protect it for years to come.

What Happens During Art Restoration?

Once a work of art has been damaged or otherwise compromised, the owner can enlist a professional to evaluate the piece and determine what is needed. Structural damage, such as rips in canvas, are often caused by accidents or careless handling. Cosmetic damage, such as chipping paint, is often caused by the aging of the paint or materials themselves. Once the damage has been assessed, the real work begins. Physical damage is carefully repaired using materials as similar to the originals as possible. Color may also be restored or boosted with a paint touch-up. The piece may also receive a gentle cleaning.

Typically, special coatings may be used to seal and further protect the art in the future. Most professional art restoration employs processes and materials that are reversible or removable to ensure the restoration work does not inherently alter the art. From start to finish, the job can take many hours of intense and precise attention.

Who Uses Art Restoration Services?

Art restoration isn't just for museums. A professional studio can also help restore art from your personal collection, whether it is a bonafide masterpiece or a family heirloom. No matter its age or origin, if you own a cherished work of art that is in need of repair, it deserves to be preserved before it’s too late.

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