Dusting your paintings
Never attempt to dust the surface of a
painting that has loose or flaking paint.
Use a soft bristled (sable or camel hair
is good) brush to remove dust from the
surface of a stable painting. Never employ
a feather duster or a nylon brush
as these can scratch the surface. Tilt
the painting at an angle and brush gently,
letting the dust fall to the floor or
table top. Clean the brush frequently.
Keep the examination area clean.
Cleaning the back
Paintings that have not been covered,
generally have an accumulation of dust
on the back. If the painting is stable
(no loose or flaking paint) it may be
placed face down on a clean, lightly
padded surface. A very low power
vacuum cleaner may be held several inches
above the back surface of the
painting and the excess dust removed.
At no time should the cleaner be allowed
to touch the painting and care
should be exercised so that no undue
suction moves the canvas.
A dust cover should be attached to the
back of the frame with screws to prevent
damage from accidental blows,
to keep out dirt and to put labels on.
This cover can be of cardboard or of
Stretchers should be regularly checked
and their keys or expansion bolts maintained
in place and tightened.
Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Winter 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45443/. Accessed July 13, 2014.