Repair of Damaged & Torn Paintings


Torn paintings may seem hopeless, but often even severe damage can be made nearly invisible with the proper repair. Water damage may loosen the ground, causing loss of paint or mold growth on the surface. The artist’s technique itself may also cause problems that put the painting at risk for significant damage. All of these issues can be addressed by our skilled conservators. Each damaged and skillfully repaired painting below represented a different challenge. The challenges have been met, and the paintings can be seen once again as the artist intended.


Torn Painting Before Repair   Torn Painting After Repair, painting conservation

 20th century acrylic on canvas, private collection, Florida, USA

The painting was lined. A Mylar interleaving was used the help hold the tear in place.

Water Damaged Painting Before Restoration   Water Damaged Painting After Restoration

Floating Pyramids, pastel by Lawrence Tribe, 20th Century, Private collection. Washington, DC

The paper support was buckled and the front was covered with mold from water damage. The pastel was flattened and lined, the mold was removed and the damaged areas were inpainted.


Damaged Painting Before Repair     Damaged Painting After Repair, painting restoration example

Painting Before Repair     Painting After Repair and Restoration

Standing nude, oil on canvas, by Milton Avery, 20th century, Private collection Connecticut, USA

The canvas was buckled and there was disfiguring sub-surface cracking in the white pigment. The painting was treated in a vapor tent to relax the paint film; the cracking paint film was then treated in a vacuum hot table with a favorable result.


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Oliver Brothers