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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)

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Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

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3 Comments to “Ripped/Punctured Oil Painting Looks Worse After Patch Job!”

  1. Scott did the most amazing job restoring my valuable piece of artwork. I am a perfectionist, and I can honestly say that he is the best in the country. Would never use anyone else again. Vivian Dorris Private collector Palm Beach

  2. Thanks Vivian. I appreciate your kind words.

  3. Repair/fix a ripped or punctured oil painting with a patch? See the side affects in this short video: http://bit.ly/r6gNh6

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