The Question

Many of our painting restorations involve the cleaning of a dirty canvas, patching of a hole, or fixing cracked or chipped paint.  Usually our clients want a piece restored for sentimental or aesthetic reasons. Sometimes paintings have a significant monetary value as well, which poses a question:

Will restoring a painting reduce its value?

The Story

A new customer recently brought us a challenging project. She had purchased a large unframed 40×80 painting a number of years ago at an auction by a famous Indian artist and wanted us to frame it for her. She was fortunate that the value of the painting had risen exponentially since she had purchased it years before.

Back of an old painting with small holes in the canvas
Pinholes in back with light showing through.

Unfortunately the painting was in rough shape. The old stretcher bars were badly warped and the front of the painting itself had some cracking of the paint and tiny holes in the canvas. The holes were only visible from behind when it was held up to the light. It was a sign that the canvas had deteriorated to a point where it was extremely fragile and was likely to get worse if it were not stabilized.

In order to frame it properly, we knew we needed to remove the canvas from the warped, out of square stretchers and re-stretch it properly. Because the canvas was in such a fragile state, it was likely that the pulling and tightening of the re-stretching process would further damage the rigid cracked canvas.

Long Horizontal abstract painting with cracks to be restored
Look at all that crazing!

 

The Solution

We recommended that some work be done to the painting before we framed it: both for aesthetic and preservation reasons. The painting needed to be re-lined (a new piece of canvas affixed behind the old canvas to stabilize it) and the cracks needed to be fixed.

The customer was unsure if restoring the painting might reduce its future value. Although this is sometimes a valid concern with lightly damaged pieces, the answer in this case was that it would actually INCREASE the value because this piece was only going to get worse if nothing was done to it.

Should My Painting Be Restored?

The reality is that over a period of decades or even centuries, paintings are often stored in a manner that causes them to become damaged.  Keep In mind that most people restore paintings for sentimental reasons which almost always makes sense unless the damage is so severe that the price is prohibitive. But even for paintings with significant monetary value, a restoration to at least stabilize the damage is preferable to doing nothing.

Here is the finished piece with the new frame. The cracking has been eliminated and the canvas has been completely reinforced.  It will look great hanging on the wall for decades or longer!

Damaged oil painting that has been completely restored and framed
Restoration complete. Framed & ready to hang!

 

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Renjeau Galleries

Social Distancing Options

We are open during our regular hours for browsing fine art or to help you with your custom framing and restoration jobs.

We are also continuing to make every effort to accommodate you remotely if you prefer.  If you see artwork on our website which you would like to purchase or try on approval in your home, please let us know.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Free Restoration Estimate

Stop by our Natick, MA gallery with your artwork during regular hours or call us at 508-655-5121 to make an appointment. You may also submit a photo of your art for a ballpark estimate.

  • We will asses the condition of your art and review your options
  • We will give you a ballpark estimate based on our initial assessment
  • Leave the piece with us until our restorer can inspect and test if necessary. (Usually 3-5 days)
  • We will call you with an exact price. No work will be done until you give us the go ahead.
  • Please fill out the form below with any specific questions.

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