Flaking Paint

Plains Indians Encampment Water Damage in Garage

As can be seen in the photograph, this painting by Fredrick Schaefer was sitting on the floor of the garage when 3 in. of water flooded the area causing the paint to flake off and destroying the gesso frame.

The first problem was leaving/storing the art work on the floor in a poor quality storage area. Always store artwork up on blocks.

The second problem occured when the owner wiped his hand over the flaking area and removed the original paint (we routinely save original flaking paint).

The result is a damaged painting that requires extensive inpainting which, in the end, will look perfect but the value will be compromised. Both of these problems could have been avoided.

Water damage in garage

Still, even though this could have been avoided and was partly due to lack of care by the owner, an insurance claim could be filed if fine art insurance were in place. Not only damage can be  mitigated but loss of value might be an issue. Scott Haskins and FACL often help collectors and home owners with evaluations, claims and the conservation treatments. Contact us at 805 564 3438

Appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 www.faclappraisals.com

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Hidden flaking can be knocked off when dusting

Hard to see flakes knocked off by cleaning lady when dusting.

The photograph looks like it is in perfect condition without any cracks or problems evident. However in the trees to the left, there are 6 or 8 very small flakes of paint that are coming off.

These types of hard to see flakes are often knocked off when cleaning ladies dust art work.

Here are 3 tips to remember:

1. Keep art work away from heating vents that will cause cracking and flaking. (Same goes for active fireplaces)

2. Never use cleaning liquids on paintings.

3. Never try to clean painting with solvents.

Volumes of books have been written about damaging paintings by people trying to clean them. It is a very complicated process.

So back to our problems on this painting, careful inspections will help save flaking paint. If you find flaking paint, the best thing to do is call an art conservation laboratory for advice. There are emergency treatments you can do at home on most paintings. But it is still good to get some advice.

Feel free to call our office if you would like to discuss your situation. 805 564 3438

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com 805 895 5121

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Cracking and damaged paintings caused by stretcher bars

Cracking of paintings and damage cause by stretcher bars.

There are 3 types of cracks of Fine Art that are directly related to stretcher bars.

First photograph shows diagonal cracking that will form in each conner, this cracking pattern is very common, and has been recreated in artificial aging tests which have confirmed that they form due to the expanding of the canvass and the ability of the stretcher bars to hold the painting properly.

Second photograph shows a cracking pattern caused by the painting touching the cross bar. This happens because the painting is loose and/or pressure is put on the front of the painting causing it to press against the cross bar, and/or could be the cross bar is not spaced far away enough from the painting.

Third photograph shows a vertical line that goes just inside and parallel to the edges of the painting, that may  or may not be visible on all four sides. Giving the above example the cracking caused by the cross bar. This cracking appears because of the contact with the inside edge of the stretcher bar, as you can see from the photograph this cracking can lead to flacking.

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Fine Art Conservation

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com

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Why Do We Touch an Oil Paint That is Flaking?

One of the biggest problems people have is to resist the temptation of touching an oil painting that is flaking. I have been amused to witness even the seasoned experienced collectors be rate themselves after they touch a flaking area and knock paint off.

The problem of people touching damage painting is the reason why, damaged art work should be removed from display once it’s damaged.

This photograph shows the worst type of judgement possible where someone has rubbed off the flaking paint all together.

Oil Paint Flaking

It is important to remember that we can save the original paint in almost every type of flaking condition. This type of preservation/conservation treatment preserves the original nature of the painting, helps the painting to retain its highest value and in the end will require less inpainting.

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Fine Art Conservation

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

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Ripped/Punctured Oil Painting Looks Worse After Patch Job!

Sweet Barbizon picture of mother and child looks worse after “restoration” and will look even worse with time!

The painting was damaged because of poor handling or bad storage. Then someone, probably an artist, patched the rip/puncture and now it looks worse. Was there a alternative, better way to repair this?

patching a rip causes big problems

Gorgeous French painting of mother and child had a puncture that was patched.

Should paintings be patched or do they need to be lined?

Patching is usually done by artists and restores who don’t understand or care about long term preservation. Its usually paid for by art dealers who are looking for the cheapest job possible without consideration of what the down side is in the future.

Let me show you the two obvious results from patching,

  1. The photograph shows a bulge that forms with time because the patch creates uneven stress, around the rip, this bulge will create cracking pattern in the future.
  2. It also shows the spider web cracking pattern formed around a puncture even though a patch was applied.

These are the two reasons why we do not recommend patching in an oil or acrylic painting. The correct repair contains the following steps:

  • Stabilized the flaking of the paint along the rip.
  • Only apply repair adhesive along the edges of the rip.
  • Re-align the fibers of the rip.
  • Rejoin or “weld” the fibers together under magnification with adhesive and local heat.
  • Make sure the repair is perfectly flat.
  • Line the entire reverse of the painting.

Only this way can long deterioration be stopped. Continued cracking be halted and the rip can be made invisible to the unaided eye. Only this type of repair can return the maximum value to the art work and is the most appropriate conservation treatment for long term preservation.

When you have a damaged painting, your home owner’s insurance policy may help you pay for it, and may even pay you for lost value. For more information about this, go towww.insurancepersonalpropertyassessments.com or call us at 805 895 5121

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Questions about preserving collectibles, letters, certificates photos? www.saveyourstuffblog.com (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions?
www.faclappraisals.com

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Even Trash Can Be Turned Into Art Treasure with Proper Conservation

Shockingly, this stunning piece was found flaking and dingy in the garbage! An inept attempt was made to “restore” it that involved an abundant application of wax to hold the painting together and a wipe with solvent to remove part of the dirt.

The Dumpster Diver who discovered the painting donated it to a collector who recognized that under the disaster of flaking paint, wax, and grime, there was a valuable vintage piece.  Some research and careful examination yielded the title and date: “The Discussion” from 1929.  This discovery prompted the collector to contact us for a closer examination and professional conservation treatment. (more…)

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