It is that time of year again, the time when the sun peeks its head out of the clouds, the flowers bloom… and the time we feel the need to clean ~ known to all as Spring Cleaning! However, it is probably rare for us to think about the fact that our Fine Arts need to be cleaned like the rest of the house. But, they do. Soiling, oxidation, dirt, smoke, and more can damage our Fine Arts over time.

Cleaning artwork can be pretty intimidating at times, especially when we are faced with an Oil Painting, something that is truly an antique, or perhaps it has been in our family for generations. We are here to guide you through the process of cleaning; including the tools one may use and the steps that go along with them:

Feather Duster

A feather duster can be used on a number of items; such as frames, glass, oil paintings, watercolors, bronzes, and so much more. The soft bristles can remove dirt gently from the artwork without causing damage. See the following steps:

  1. First, if the artwork hangs on the walls, you must remove it and lay gently on a hard flat surface. Even, for this small amount of time, on your floor.
  2. Second, take the duster and slowly and gently move back and forth over the frame, the glass (if there), the painting…
  3. Now, you are done. Hang back in its place as gently as you removed it.

** Be aware: Do not let anyone clean your artwork with any type of solution, not the frame, nor glass, nor painting; unless of course that person is a professional and has trained to clean in this manner. But, if you use a solution, then it has the chance to slide down to the lower part of the glass then seep into the bottom of the mats. This can cause a serious problem; permanent water spotting; hence, the mats will need to be replaced. If not taken care of properly, then mildew may start to form…given the right temperature and saturation.          

Cleaning Solutions

There are occasions when cleaning solutions are needed, as with artwork made out of metal; bronze, copper, silver, etc. If you own a metal ‘piece’ of art, then you know that they can oxidize (on copper) or there can be a patina found, a white or green looking substance, on your artwork due to humidity. This happens here in San Diego, especially the closer you live to the ocean. Well, not to worry with a little muscle and with the correct cleaning solution you can get rid of these blemishes.

  1. First, dust off your artwork with the feather duster, mentioned above.
  2. Second, grab the cleaning solution. This is not an easy step; it will take muscle to properly clean your bronze, or whatever other metal your art is made out of. Follow the directions on the cleaner from here.
  3. If your ‘piece’ is up high, then carefully bring it down to a level you can easily reach it. Make sure it is on a flat surface. If the artwork is too heavy for you, then grab that ladder and make sure you have someone there to keep their eye on you.

** Be aware: each metal will have its own cleaner. Ex: Bronze cleaner for bronze. If you do not use the proper solution you can potentially damage the surface of your art.

We can clean your artwork for you; whether it be Soiling of the Ages, Smoke Damage; Water Damage;  Canvas Torn, etc. we can  do it. We firmly believe all Fine Arts should look as the artist intended. We do not change anything, we only clean or repair.

 We are here for you!

If you have questions about cleaning your art then call us. We would be happy to give you a few minutes of our time. You can also email us at

Fine Arts Restoration