Picture Framing and Art Preservation/linen matting


I have an oil painting that has a water stain on the linen matting.  Can I clean this myself, and if so, how?

Thank you very much!

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the question. It's not really a big deal for your question, but I'd like to clarify that what you have is most likely not a mat, but probably what we call a liner. It's basically a frame moulding covered in fabric, traditionally linen or something similar, and used to provide a bit of visual relief between the frame and the painting.

It's hard to tell exactly what would clean the spot from your liner. It will depend on the nature of the stain, the fabric and its age. I would give a product called K2r a try. It's available in some grocery and hardware stores or directly from the manufacturer. The website is at http://www.k2rbrands.com/products/original.htm.

You spray it on, let it dry to a powder and then brush the powder off. I would test it first in an inconspicuous spot and use it on the entire liner, not just the spot. Otherwise you will end up with one clean bright area. Also be sure to cover the painting so that none of the cleaner gets on it, or even better, remove it from the frame if possible.

I hope this works out well for you. If you don't get the results you were hoping for it would probably be easiest to take it to a custom framer to have the liner replaced. It shouldn't be too expensive or a lot of trouble.  

Picture Framing and Art Preservation

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David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF


I can answer questions about all aspects of framing, with special emphasis on preservation framing. Categories of artwork include works of art on paper, needlework, textiles, paintings on canvas and three-dimensional objects. Components of framing includes frames, glass/glazing, mats, mounting, their features and how to select them.


I have been a professional picture framer and educator in the field since 1994, including framing education for a major franchisor encompassing three brands and the Professional Picture Framers Association, and writing and teaching for DECOR Magazine.

Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) > Board member, PPFA > Member, Certification Board > Member, Chapter relations Committee National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR)

DECOR Magazine, 2005 - 2010 PPFA For Members Only newsletter Member of the PPFA Guidelines task force, assisted in writing PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Canvas, and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Textiles and Needlework. Picture Framing Magazine, 2012

Georgia State University, many classes as a student and educator through the Professional Picture Framers Association and DECOR Magazine. Current member of the PPFA guidelines task force and certification board.

Awards and Honors
Earned Certified Picture Framer (CPF) designation in 1996, Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) designation in 2004 and Guild Commended Framer (GCF) status in 2008.

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