advice for cleaning a painted screen

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Folly framing
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advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by Folly framing » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 9:14 am

Hi, I have a client who brought in this painted screen with carved ivory details on it. She would like to clean it as it is very dulled with grime but is not sure how best to approach this - she has used a cloth and washing liquid on some of the black section and obviously removed some of the paint.
I have suggested that she approach a conservator but she is clear that she is unable to afford this option. A local framer to me was going to work with her to clean it but he has retired due to ill health and she wondered how best to approach it. Any words of wisdom? My first thought was just to dab with distilled water and be careful not to get it too wet but I know that this is definitely NOT my area of expertise!

Thanks for any suggestions, I will not be doing the work myself, just trying to help steer her in the best direction.
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prospero
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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by prospero » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 9:26 am

Easy. Don't do anything. :)

It it has any value and it sounds as though it does, it's a job for a specialist. If the customer is unwilling to
cough up for this then far better to leave it in the original condition. Any half-hearted titivating will severely
impact on the value. It may even render it worthless.

"If in doubt - no nowt". :P
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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by Justintime » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 9:46 am

Suggest she gets in touch with "The Repair Shop" television program, they do great work to restore objects for free!!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/faqs/tv/the-repair-shop

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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by JonathanB » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 11:10 am

I'm with Prospero on this one - leave well alone. If once you've helped to 'steer the customer in the right direction' it all goes well they'll be forever grateful and you'll be a hero. If it all goes wrong, the blame may well be heading in your direction, despite what they may say now. The only other thing to say is to at least suggest the customer gets an estimate for the work from a conservator. My experience is that estimates are not always as scary as people think they'll be. Suggest your customer goes through the ICON website and at least contacts someone with relevant expertise before doing something that they may later regret.
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Steve N
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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by Steve N » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 12:55 pm

leave well alone, let the experts do it

Can't see the photo, don't want to download and un-zip a picture :head:
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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 4:12 pm

If this screen is old, or even antique, cleaning it and by doing so may remove the patina which makes it look old and destroy it's value. To many people like something, because it looks old and then decide to clean it and wonder why it looks so terrible. You remove all that dirt of the ages and it just no longer looks old and that genuine patina is gone.
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Folly framing
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Re: advice for cleaning a painted screen

Post by Folly framing » Wed 03 Jul, 2019 4:22 pm

Thanks all for taking the time to respond.

I will try and encourage her to get a quote from the local conservators, I mainly wanted to stop her rubbing at it with more washing up liquid! I will share your sage words and see how it goes.

Great idea about submitting it for the repair shop programme! I'll check if there is a good sentimental story to go with it..

Thanks again.

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