Fine Art/How to clean paintings
Hi Daniel, I have a question for you about cleaning paintings. I have done some acrylic paintings on my own and have collected quite a few acrylic, oil and wax paintings over the year. Some of the older paintings need to be cleaned since the colors are not as bright anymore. I did not pay a whole lot for the paintings so they're not like museum quality or anything. I just want to keep them clean. Can you suggest a way to clean them without hurting the paint? I don't think I'll be able to afford professional cleaning. I heard you can wipeclean an acrylic painting with a damped cloth? Is that true? About oil or wax? I just want your opinion before I go out and damage my art. :) Thanks again. Trinh
Dear Trinh, I have never owned or cleaned an acrylic painting. As it is basically a plastic or latex type media I would think you could use warm water with just a couple of drops of dish detergent or a slight amount of TSP(trisodiumphosphate)and wipe with a soft dampened cloth, and then finish wiping with a clear water dampened cloth. As far as oil paintings, it is more complex. Various solvents are used depending upon the surface condition, wether it is varnished or not, etc. I would not advise cleaning these without a conservator. Paintings with a wax medium are even more tricky.