4 Things To Know About Dusting Paintings

Posted on May 26, 2016 By

Dusting Paintings1. You shouldn’t try to dust a damaged painting

Before going about dusting your painting, you should have a close look at it. If you notice any parts of it that are damaged in any way, or if there are any parts where the paint’s beginning to lift or has come off, don’t do anything. A damaged painting is best taken care of by a professional. Get in touch with your local dealer or conservator and they’ll be able to restore your painting. It may cost, but doing this will help ensure the longevity of your painting. If your painting isn’t damaged in any way, then you can go about dusting it yourself.

2. What to use and what not to use

To safely and effectively dust a painting, you should use an artist’s brush with natural hair. The bristles should be soft and, most importantly, completely clean. Never use dust cloths because the threads can be caught by raised bits of paint. Avoid using stiff bristle brushes or feather dusters because these can quite easily scratch the painted surface. You should never dust a painting with anything that’s moist, otherwise you run the risk of the paint becoming discoloured or even falling off the canvas. Finally, ensure that anything with chemicals on it never comes into contact with the painting. If you’ve been using an old cloth to dust a painting, for example, that old cloth may very well have polish on it, which can cause paint to fall away from the painting.

3. How to dust your painting

To dust your painting, make sure your painting is propped up and have it leaning forward a bit. By having the painting at a forward angle, the dust is going to fall away from the painting on to the floor. Get your brush and go over the painting slowly, lightly and gently. Either work horizontally or vertically. Once you’ve gone over the painting once, go over it again just to be sure you’ve got all the dust off. If you’re dusting the painting’s frame, you should go about it the same way. With the frame, you don’t have to just use a brush; instead you can use a soft cloth or something similar. It’s very important that you don’t apply water or any chemicals to the frame.

4. How often you should dust your painting

The less anything comes into contact with your painting, the better. The less you dust your painting, the less of a chance there is that any damage could be done to it. Of course, you have to dust your painting sometime, otherwise a film of dust is going to build up and affect the way your painting looks. Dusting your painting once or twice a year should be enough. The frame should probably need to be dusted a bit more often. Don’t fall into the habit of dusting the whole painting as soon as you notice a single bit of dust on it, otherwise you’re going to be dusting it far too often and the risk of damaging it will increase. It’s better to dust it only when it really does need to be dusted.