Opinions Wanted Consolidate oil painting

Melinda Tennis

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
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Lynchburg, VA.
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I have a customer's oil painting they brought back from France. It was removed from the stretcher and rolled for transporting it. There are several places the paint has cracked and fallen off. Can I paint the whole thing, 31 1/2 x 40, with acrylic medium to keep more paint from falling off? They don't want to send it to the conservators. Or would you suggest re-touch or Damar varnish? Let me know what you think. Thank you.
 
I wouldn't use acrylic medium. Usually the rule is oil over acrylic but not acrylic over oil. Similar to the fat over lean rule. Damar is usually used in oil restoration, but I'm not sure what an expert would use to reglue portions that have actually cracked off and need readhered.
 
The fault here appears to be in the improperly prepared canvas ground, creating a weak bond between the canvas and the paint. As others have said, DO NOT make this your problem by attempting to remedy a situation not of your making. Refer them to a qualified conservator.
:cool: Rick
 
Nope. If you have no training in this, you shouldn't attempt it.
This is a prime example of the old adage, "Do no harm".

If they don't want to pay a conservator for fear of cost, at least have them call one for a rough estimate (if they haven't already).
If that doesn't fly for them, then suggest they contact local artists who work in the medium.

This is not your fault, don't let it become your problem, only offer suggestions for them to look for an appropriate solution.

If someone brings me damaged work I tell them I only frame items in the condition they are brought to me.
I have no training in restoration/conservation and will not ever attempt it.
So much risk of this coming back to be a huge pain for you.
 
Thanks y'all. I really do appreciate the advice. I am not re-adhereing any paint. What's gone is gone. I'll be using Damar and re-touch varnish to help hold the other loose places in place. The decorator is aware of the risks. Thanks again.
 
Thanks y'all. I really do appreciate the advice. I am not re-adhereing any paint. What's gone is gone. I'll be using Damar and re-touch varnish to help hold the other loose places in place. The decorator is aware of the risks. Thanks again.
If a Conservator is later brought in, they will have to undo the work that you do.
 
Melinda, Just to let you know that natural Damar varnish is obsolete in comparison to the new synthetic resins. They do not yellow with time as does damar.
 
How will you stretch it?
Is this considered tourist art? How valuable.

I currently have a large painting with some of the same problems. Not as bad or noticeable. It is nice, but not valuable. They don't want to spend money on conservator. I will leave the crumbling paint alone. I doubt any kind of varnish or glue will make a difference. The only thing I am willing to do is fill in the spots, where the paint is missing, with pastel dust in the correct color. This is reversible and should hold up well enough onto the canvas.

I am using Jack Richeson stretcher bars, which is easier to control. I warned the customer that I will stop stretching if there is too much stress on the frame. So it most likely is not going to be tight. They realize that and don't care.

Oh, and I charged plenty enough as this will be a slow stretch, taking longer. And it's large
 
Damar varnish has one redeeming factor: It can be removed easily with Turpentine.
Water based synthetics can't and they will generally resist really powerful solvents
like Acetone. They don't really 'bond' to oil paint and can sometimes be flaked off
carefully with a blade, but depending on the paint surface they can soak into the weave
and then it's impossible to remove it completely.
I once spent SIX YEARS carefully removing a layer of water based varnish from a 36x24" painting
on canvas. I initially cleaned it which got a lot of muck off but revealed huge brown streaks that
where in the varnish. I flaked it off a bit at a time over that period. Even then there were parts that
I could not get completely varnish free. I ended up having to re-paint sections. Being an artist I did
have an advantage there and the end result was good. I gave the whole thing two coats of retouch
varnish to even out the whole surface and spark it up a bit. Retouch varnish is also removeable with Turps.
The customer was very pleased (and patient) and I accepted a nice garden bench as payment. 🙂

I learned a lot though. 😎
 
Thank you all very much. I wanted to inpaint the missing pieces but the decorator said it didn't matter. TO WHOM! I'm charging plenty. I am going to use a tiny brush and just dab it in the crevices. I told her it's gonna' be tricky, as Ylva said, and won't be stretched to normal standards. Thanks again.
 
Damar varnish has one redeeming factor: It can be removed easily with Turpentine.
Water based synthetics can't and they will generally resist really powerful solvents
like Acetone. They don't really 'bond' to oil paint and can sometimes be flaked off
carefully with a blade, but depending on the paint surface they can soak into the weave
and then it's impossible to remove it completely.
I once spent SIX YEARS carefully removing a layer of water based varnish from a 36x24" painting
on canvas. I initially cleaned it which got a lot of muck off but revealed huge brown streaks that
where in the varnish. I flaked it off a bit at a time over that period. Even then there were parts that
I could not get completely varnish free. I ended up having to re-paint sections. Being an artist I did
have an advantage there and the end result was good. I gave the whole thing two coats of retouch
varnish to even out the whole surface and spark it up a bit. Retouch varnish is also removeable with Turps.
The customer was very pleased (and patient) and I accepted a nice garden bench as payment. 🙂

I learned a lot though. 😎
I hope part of that lesson involved a vow never to get caught that way again?? :nuts:

Ih ope it was a very nice garden bench.
 
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