Arnold asked: How do I clean a print picture painting? This print is a picture by Paul Detlefsen called “The Good Old Days.” I think this is a print and not an oil painting.
Cleaning a painting can be a challenging situation that largely depends on the value and condition of the painting. If it is in good, strong condition and/or does not hold a high value, it may be worth it to clean on your own. However, if the piece is fragile and/or valuable, it may be a better option to have it cleaned by a professional. If you choose to do it yourself, here are some safe cleaning options that you can do right at home.
You Will Need:
- Soft bristled paint brush
- 2-3 loaves of doughy bread (sourdough works well)
Steps to Clean the Print:
- Begin by going over the painting with the soft bristled brush to remove any loose dirt and dust.
- If there is dirt that cannot be brushed away, there is an easy cleaning method that works well on oil paintings and will also work for prints.
- This process will make a mess with bread crumbles, so it’s best to do this outdoors if possible. Take the piece outdoors and spread it out over a tarp or other protective layer to keep any moisture from the ground away from the print.
- Take a slice of the bread and remove the crust.
- Use the soft inside portion to gently rub over the surface of the print.
- As you are rubbing, you will notice the dirt and soil from the picture sticking to the bread.
- Discard the bread as it becomes dirty and/or disintegrates and start with a fresh piece.
- It is best to work in small sections in a methodical order so that you can keep track of the areas that have already been completed.
- When the entire print has been cleaned, use the soft brush to gently go over the print again and remove any remaining crumbs. This is an important step because these crumbs will surely attract insects and you don’t want them making a home on your print.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- For deeper cleanings, it is best to consult a professional for advice, especially if you are unsure exactly what type of print you own. In order to complete the cleaning yourself, it is necessary to be informed of what type of materials were used so that the proper cleaners can be applied without causing damage.
- In any case, if you are ever concerned about damaging the print, do not hesitate to contact a pro for advice and/or assistance.
D Mann says
Does not answer the question of how to clean a PRINT, i.e., on paper, NOT how to clean a painting.
So how do I know if it is worth anything? I live in a small town of 900 people. Where do you get info? Where is professional help??? Tried looking up where the print came from and there was some info on the back.
If you can contact the source of the print, that would be best. If that doesn’t work, you can often get an appraisal at an art museum or gallery, but you will probably need to go to the nearest large city. There are also many organizations of professional appraisers.
Source: Art-Collecting.com – Art Appraisal Info
I have what appears to be one of the reproductions from the 1950’s – 60’s. It is similar to the piece shown except mine is much larger and has a house on the left side. There is a metal plate on the front that says, “Serene Setting” Menetti.
It looks like who ever had it for a time was a smoker, so if bread is what I need to use, I’m going to need a truck load. I need to know what is safe to spray on and wipe to clean. Like some home remedy of vinegar and water… Help??
This is the article that you need: How to Clean Nicotine from an Art Print. That article does mention, as you guessed, a weak solution of vinegar and water. You can start with an extremely weak solution, like 1 part vinegar to 6 or even 8 parts water, and increase the amount of vinegar if needed, being careful to watch the coloring on the print as you clean.
I have a print from early 1940 and can’t find anything about and no artist name. It is called The Blue Satin Dress from a tape on back. Any suggestions?
I have an old print with a coffee stain on it. I don’t live in a place where a professional cleaning is an option. A vinegar clean test spot didn’t work.
Once a liquid has soaked into paper, it is usually impossible to remove. You can try using a document cleaning pad or a dry cleaning sponge, which can be found either in an art supply store or in the wallpaper section of a hardware store. You can also try sending the painting out to a professional that lives somewhere else. If nothing works and the piece is basically ruined, you could always paint over the entire painting – that would cover the stain, be a fun project, and make the piece even more personal. Good luck!
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean Books
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean a Paper Lampshade
I was given a limited edition print that has had the glass removed (guess it was broken), but it has a lot of fly marks and I think some small mold spots. How can I remove this? Thank you.
The mold spots should easily brush off. Brush them off outside to prevent the spores from spreading inside your house. If you are worried about killing any mold spores that remain, you can wipe the spots with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. Do not use so much that the print gets soaked; use only enough to brush over the surface to kill the spores.
The fly marks are a bit more difficult. First, trying cleaning them off with the bread as described in the article. If they are only on the surface of the print, that should work to remove them. If not, you can try using a damp cloth. Be careful with that though, don’t scrub so hard that you damage the print, and don’t use so much water that it soaks in. Wring the cloth out so that it’s not dripping, and wipe off the area immediately after to remove the water. You might even want to dry off the area several times throughout the cleaning to be extra careful. If the fly marks have soaked into the print, you can try using a document cleaning pad or dry cleaning sponge – they are available at art supply stores or in the wallpaper section of a hardware store.
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean and Sanitize Wet Books
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean a Paper Lampshade
I have a large print on canvas of the Puckeridge Hounds. I found the print in a thrift store. The image has gone blue when compared to the original painting. Is there anything that can be done to correct this?
A print turns blue due to the other colors of ink fading. According to The Art Shop, blue is the color that is most resistant to fading, which is why it is the only color left. Unfortunately, there is no way to brighten faded colors on an art print other than having it reprinted or possibly professionally restored. Instead, try to enjoy it being blue as you would an Andy Warhol print and give it a blue frame or add other blue decor to your room to accent its beauty as-is.
Source: The Art Shop
I have a very old print dating back to 1907 by the customs stamp on the back. Unfortunately, it has a large water stain on it and I was wondering how I may remove it.
For an old print, it is always best to consult a professional art conservator for the restoration technique that is best for your specific item. Good luck!
I have a vintage print of an 1876 battle. The painting was done by A.M. Wilard. 1876. It was in a flood and then stored for a long time. How do I preserve this or even seal it with a glaze? I’m not looking for financial gain; it is all sentimental. If I can’t restore it, then I want to make it beautiful. It looks good when wet. Help?
With such an old print, and especially one that has sentimental value, it would be best for you to bring it to a professional restorer. There are ways that they can protect it, possibly with sealants, and they will be able to tell you the best method for your specific print. Good luck!
I have 2 framed pictures…Asleep & Awake. They are very old. These are prints. They are SO dark now that you can bearly see them now. How do I clean them?
If the prints are of sentimental or monitary value, it would be best to have them cleaned professionally. For a good home remedy, first try the bread trick – it is very effective for removing dirt and dust. If that isn’t enough, another thing that can work well is a dry cleaning soot eraser – these are sold in the wallpaper section of most hardware stores. Test it on a small corner or edge first to be sure it doesn’t damage the print at all. If neither of those ideas work, you can try gently cleaning with a mix of 1 part white vinegar in 5 parts water, increasing the amount of vinegar as needed until you find the strength that will work without damaging the print. Another idea is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Good luck!
Source: HowToCleanStuff – How to Clean Nicotine from an Art Print