Oil paintings are a unique and sensitive media. They can collect dirt and stains over time, and you might be at a loss on how to clean them — you can’t use water, paint thinner, alcohol, or any abrasive force. Fear not! It’s simple to bring out the original vibrancy of your oil painting, and its believed all you need is a little bread.

Although you can remove light dust, airborne pet hair, and even soot from an oil painting yourself, a deeper, more thorough cleaning should always be left to a professional. As long as the painting isn’t damaged, you can prolong the life of your oil painting with these easy maintenance steps.

You Will Need:

  • Soft brush
  • Fresh white bread

Steps to Remove the Dust:

  1. While the painting is in the vertical position, gently go over it with a soft brush to remove loose debris. Work from the top down and from side to side in a consistent motion.
  2. Lay the painting on a horizontal sturdy surface.
  3. Remove the crust from a piece of soft white bread.
  4. Press the bread to the surface to get rid of smoke residue, hair, and stubborn dust. Lift and repeat. Replace bread with a fresh piece when it’s soiled.
  5. Stand the painting up and repeat step one to remove any lingering crumbs or remaining debris.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Clean at your own risk! If the painting has value, it’s always worth the investment to have it cleaned properly by a professional.
  • Avoid introducing moisture to the surface of your painting. It can seep inside invisible cracks and cause damage.
  • Do not attempt to clean a damaged painting.

Pictures and Frames: Bringing the Two Together

Tip 1: Start with the art
What you’re framing is the first thing to consider.  What is the medium?  An autographed photo, a hockey jersey, an oil on canvas and a child’s watercolor all have different feels.  How does the item strike you?  Casual?  Formal?  Is it a colorful piece you want to tone down or a neutral piece you want to make bolder?  Is it a mosaic that needs a frame which will take a back seat or a landscape that requires a treatment with presence?

Some rules of thumb:
•    Color can change the entire mood of a picture, from calm to exciting, and can influence the “season” the image suggests, lending the same artwork a winter, spring, summer or fall feel depending on the color and sheen of the frame and mat.  Use a color wheel to test various shades against the image.
•    Look at your pictures and choose the element you’d like to call out, then match that shade to the mat.
•    If you aren’t sure which direction to take, choose a high quality white or cream mat and use a simple frame in either black or a mid-tone wood.  This approach will complement almost any item.

Tip 2: Decide where you’ll display the artwork
Will your pictures hang in a living room with contemporary décor or a sunroom filled with wicker?  Is it going to be part of a gallery display or the focal piece in a professional office?  Both the context—residential, commercial, gallery—and the style of the space will provide hints on which frame to choose and what color would be best.

Frames for residential settings are meant to suit your taste and décor.  Color, style, and design can all be chosen to work with the image and its surroundings including wall and trim paint colors and textiles, like drapes, rugs, upholstery and pillows to create a truly unique, custom look.

Tip 3: Think about the scale of the piece
Have some fun with the image! You can play with proportion by varying the size of your mountboard and by choosing frames with narrow or wide faces, or constrain a large piece of art by using no mountboard.  If you decide to keep your art small enough to display on desks, shelves or tables, we offer beautiful ready-made D.I.Y frames

Tip 4: Remember—style isn’t the only preference
Think about budget, ease of assembly, and eco-friendliness when choosing a frame
Also consider the inside (rabbet) depth of the frame’s channel.  The rabbet should be at least 1/8 inch larger than the thickness of the stacked total depth of the artwork, mat board (or linen liner), mounting board and acrylic glazing.

Tip 5:  Purpose and lifespan matter
Since the treatment is the environment in which your artwork will “live”, be sure you select the right materials for that lifetime.   If you’re framing an original piece of art or anything you plan to keep for the long haul, be sure to order acid free Foamcore backing boards.  Low cost posters and other unsigned reproductions can be economically framed in standard materials and mats.

Tip 8: Trust your instincts
Remember, You created the art or chose it for yourself, so trust your personal taste and use the online tools and resources we provided.  Take your time, enjoy yourself, and create a truly original and beautiful look for your artwork.



First off thank you for taking the time to visit our site.

Like our Facebook page for updates on all our exciting special offers, or If you are a fellow local Port Elizabethan, pop into our Gallery at 283 Main Road Walmer, Open weekdays 08:30 – 16:30. Come see our latest paintings & Ceramics from well-known local artists or Speak to owner Desire’ for artistic advice on any framing or decor projects