A conservator will be able to advise on aesthetic treatments, such as the removal of yellowed, degraded varnishes and surface dirt, which may be affecting the colour and tonal balances of your painting. In addition, if your painting has been damaged, or if you have any other concerns about the condition or appearance of your painting, please contact a professional. Check your paintings regularly for any changes or alterations. Below are some key things to look out for:
- Changes of the position of the painting in its frame: these could indicate that the work is not secure
- Bulges behind the stretcher: these may be caused by objects caught between the stretcher and canvas, and could result in damage to the paint layers
- Warping of panel paintings: a change in convex or concave warp may indicate movement in response to changes in relative humidity (RH) and could lead to splits, blisters and paint loss
- Undulation or bulging of canvases: this may indicate movement in response to changes in relative humidity (RH) and could result in flaking and paint loss.
- Tears, protrusions or indentations
- Areas of cracking, lifting or flaking paint: these could lead to paint loss and may be an indication of an adverse reaction of the painting’s materials to their environment.
- Blooming, efflorescence, dripping, wrinkling, exudence of material or any other changes to the paint surface or texture: these could be a response to the environment in which the painting is kept, and can be of particular concern with modern and contemporary paintings
- Excessive build-up of surface dirt
- Any signs of insect activity
- Any signs of mould growth
We would recommend that any damages, such as bulges, tears, dents, splits, areas of flaking paint etc. should be attended to as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
The above advice is necessarily brief but The Secretary of the BAPCR can give names of professional members who can be contacted for advice. We do not advise that you attempt to repair or clean a painting yourself; there is a high chance of causing more damage which could be expensive to put right and, in some cases, may even be irreversible.