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Mistreated Oil Painting Attains an Awful 8 In” Rip.

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Awful rip towards the middle of the painting.

Awful rip towards the middle of the painting.

Waves on shore by Robert Wood.

A week ago, the painting was in perfect conditions but because of poor handling and bad storage it now has a tremendously deep 8 in. rip.

These are the two reasons why we do not recommend patching in an oil or acrylic painting. The correct repair contains the following steps:

  • stabilized the flacking of the paint along the rip.
  • Only apply repair adhesive along the edges of the rip.
  • Redline the fibers of the rip.
  • rejoin “welded” the fibers together under magnification with adhesive and local heat.
  • Make sure repair is perfectly flat.
  • line the entire reverse part of the painting.

Only this way can long deterioration be stopped. Continued cracking be halted, the rip can be made invisible to unaided eye. Only this type of repair can return the maximum value to the art work, and is the most appropriate conservation treatment for long term preservation.

Should we patch this painting or does it need to be lined?

Patching is usually done by restores who don’t understand or care about long term preservation. Its usually paid for by art dealers who are looking for the cheapest job possible without consideration of what the down side is in the future.

Let me show you the two obvious results from patching,

  1. The photograph shows a bulge that forms with time because the patch creates uneven stress, around the rip, this bulge will create cracking pattern in the future.
  2. It also shows the spider web cracking pattern formed around a puncture even though a patch was applied.

When you have a damaged painting, your home owner’s insurance policy may help you pay for it, and may even pay you for lost value. For more information about this, go

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