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Let framers frame and restorers restore!

“Is my painting worth restoring?”  Is a very common question in the conservator’s practice. Almost all paintings can be restored; it is just a question of money.  Should they be restored? If so, can it be done at a reasonable price?

If a painting is in such poor condition that it is impossible to hang it on the wall and enjoy it, you should consider taking it in to a professional for a free consultation. If every time you look at the art and a piece of it falls off, you should take it in. If you think that you have a night landscape, most likely is a bright sunny day, but the surface dirt and varnish are so dark and yellow that they turned day into night. A simple cleaning can return your daylight.

Some art pieces are done by amateurs, some by close relatives taking Sunday art class, some are done by great artists or even old masters.  For many, sentimental value is equally important to market price.  A well-executed restoration enhances the value in either case. Botched restoration cuts directly into the market value, because many times it causes irreversible damage.

Yes, restoration treatment can be expensive, but it really isn’t in most cases.  And just like you would not want to have your kidney stones removed by a chiropractor because he is cheaper than the real doctor, you don’t want your artwork to be restored by a framer, just because he is cheap and says he can do it.

As far as pricing, check the competition. Or visit the American Institute for Conservation website, it is a great resource for finding professionals. And let your framer do what he is trained for – making frames.

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