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Restoration mediums


Restoration and cleaning older oil paintings 

Despite all precautions taken, unframed picture surfaces inevitably become heavily soiled over the course of time. To clean varnished paintings, it often suffices to remove the coat of varnish using suitable solvents. High-quality synthetic resin varnishes can be removed using oil of turpentine (50024, 50102) or turpentine substitute (50019). For older natural resin varnishes made of dammar or gum mastic, more powerful dissolving agents are frequently required. This is where the special combination of alcohol, acetone and white spirit of varnish remover (50060) does the job. For a long time now, Schmincke has offered two special products (50018, 50069) for cleaning older oil paintings.

ATTENTION: All products described in this section should be left only very briefly on the surface of the picture. Many classic oil and tempera painting techniques use resins that can be removed using the solvents normally used to remove the varnish.

Please take care to ensure that no upper-most colour layers are dissolved during cleaning! Always test the medium on an area that is not directly visible if possible before actual use.

We also recommend that you have such work performed on valuable paintings by a professional restorer.