Cleaning Artwork

by April Reinhardt
(last updated November 4, 2013)

Perhaps you've invested a great deal of time and money decorating your home with fine artwork. If you want to preserve your artwork for generations to come, so that they may enjoy the beauty and workmanship, you need to care for it and clean it periodically. Follow these guidelines to learn how to protect your investment by cleaning it properly.

  • Using a soft artist's paintbrush, brush the artwork to remove dust, soot, and pet hair.
  • Soot can also be removed from oil paintings with a piece of bread. Fold the bread in half, and then gently dab at the painting. The soot and other debris will adhere to the bread. Large paintings may require several pieces of bread to remove all of the dirt. Remove leftover bread crumbs with an artist's brush.
  • For artwork other than paintings, use a lint roller to gently pick up dirt and debris.
  • Marble statues and busts can be cleaned with a mild spray cleaner, since marble is a very sturdy stone.
  • Bronze and metal alloys can be cleaned with a mixture of salt and warm water. Dry the pieces thoroughly so that no salt residue remains.

If you have extremely old artwork that needs to be restored, consult a professional about restoration and cleaning. Do not use water or water-based cleaners on a painting, especially if it is peeling, cracking, or flaking. Water can get underneath the paint layers and disintegrate the artwork. When attempting to clean fine artwork, always test a small, inconspicuous place before cleaning the entire piece.

Always use acid-free mats to protect your artwork from discoloration, and avoid hanging them in areas that become steamy, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Artwork that is framed in glass should be carefully cleaned with a cotton cloth. Never spray household cleaners directly onto framed artwork. Instead, spray the cloth and then clean the glassed picture or photo. Dust fine frames with lamb's wool to prevent scratches, and protect your artwork from ultraviolet rays by installing window film. You can further protect your fine artwork from household lighting by having it framed with conservation quality glazing.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Inspecting Your Foundation

Although one of the easiest steps in a preventative maintenance program for your home, a foundation inspection can save you ...

Discover More

French Toast with Easy Baked Apples and Granola

If you need to serve brunch to a houseful of guests, this menu is perfect since some people might choose to eat one thing, ...

Discover More

Choosing the Right Compact Fluorescent Lights

If you can't find the right CFL at your local hardware or home improvement store, perform an online search and you will find ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Stains from Wood Furniture

Stains in wooden furniture can be treated to return the furniture back to its former beauty. Each stain needs certain ...

Discover More

Chimney Liners

If you have an older chimney, it may be unsafe to use. Be sure the chimney is properly lined to ensure it is safe.

Discover More

Easy Sofa Cleaning

Your sofa says a lot about you. It can show your sense of style, your temperament, your favorite colors and sometimes what ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.