Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ships at sea

I found this painting on Craigslist. It was in a small little town about two hours away, but I made a detour from a work-related roadtrip to see it. After a little negotiation, I paid $60, which was probably too much given its condition. When I got it home, my husband grimaced because it was so yellowed with tobacco stains and age. I briefly researched oil painting restoration techniques and then quickly settled on a very rough do-it-yourself approach to cleaning it. I figured that if I destroyed the painting, I would not have lost too much in the trying....

I first rubbed the painting with a cut potato, which supposedly pulls out the dirt. That did not seem to make a noticeable difference, though, so I skipped to a more direct approach: dishsoap and warm water followed by a wipe down with rubbing alcohol. It worked like a charm. The old yellow tinge came off and the painting was not visibly harmed. I am sure it will not last for generations, but at least it was saved from the trash.

I then cut the painting down to fit an existing canvas that I had in the basement. I glued the painting to the front using basic craft glue. Then I used a staple gun to secure it, folding the edges around the sides of the canvas. I am not sure where I will put it in the cabin, but surely it will fit somewhere! You cannot get a sense of scale in these pictures, but it is quite large - about 2 feet by 4 feet long.

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