Art Auctioneer, Art Conservator,  Metro-West Boston & Providence
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The Woodshed Gallery LLC, 1243 Pond Street, Franklin MA 02038 phone 508-533-6277

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Oil Painting Cleaning, Restoration, Repair & Conservation

Museum Quality Methods, Materials & Results.
We are pleased to offer personalized service for the repair, restoration and conservation of old and damaged oil paintings and acrylic paintings.  Bring your artwork in for a free appraisal of what can be done to reverse the effects of neglect and time.  -Bruce Wood, MFA, oil painting conservation specialist.
 
 
A 19th century oil painting of sheep by Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899) was heading for obscurity when rescued by a pair of collectors.  Careful restoration saved it from further damage.
The video above describes the processes used to revive it. 
 
From the owners:
"Amazing and exciting.  Truly brought back from the dead...we love it and it hangs in a place of distinction where we’re sure to see it every day.  We’re now on the hunt for you next project!"  
 
 

Clean Oill Paintings is proud to underwrite Antiques Roadshow on RI PBS
Clean Oil Paintings (the Woodshed Gallery's art conservation department)
underwrites both Antiques Roadshow and Downton Abbey on RIPBS.
Conservator Bruce Wood, the Cardi Brothers (Cardi's Furniture) and an illustrious cast of
RIPBS Celebrities joined together to create their own version of the popular series.  See the video here.
 
 

 
This 18th century portrait of Maximilian III, from the workshop of Georges Desmares had most of its paint!  The face and details were carefully reconstructed, based on the remaining outlines and bits of pigment.
 
From the owners: "We are THRILLED with the work you've done on our painting! We literally gasped when we saw "our man". I had stared at that painting for countless hours and never realized his hair was long and cascading down his shoulder! We are very excited ... Thank you so much..."
 
 

 
Oil painting repair services
 
Bruce Wood repairing an oil painting which had humidity damage caused by a flood.  The painting shrank, causing extreme tension and tears in the canvas.  In addition to repairing the tears, the painting was relined (adhered to a new piece of canvas).
 
This painting is approximately sixty years old, and was never varnished. Over the years, the oil of the paint had oxidized, and attracted a layer of grime.  Cleaning included removing yellowed oils along with the dirt.
 
The owner of this painting preferred to keep it looking aged, so the canvas remained unvarnished. 
 
The relined canvas was stretched onto new supports and reinstalled in the original frame.
 
 
 
 

Clean paintings

Remove the effects of smoke damage,
water damage, mold and darkened varnish.
 

Restore colors

Oil paint oxidizes when it dries, and becomes dull over time.
This is especially evident in paintings which have never been varnished. Cleaning and nourishing the paint surface, followed
by varnishing, can restore the colors to reflect the artist's
original vision.
 
Fix holes and scratches in paintings
Canvas repair and reweaving;
gouges in panels repaired and repainted.
 

Replace lost and damaged paint

Professional, undetectable inpainting and retouching.
 

Varnish paintings

Non-yellowing protective varnish with UV light filtering qualities provides maximum  surface protection .
 

Stabilize paintings: Reline paintings

Fragile canvasses can be mounted on a variety of new surfaces including linen, canvas and hardboards.  Relining stabilizes the
painting and relaxes the paint film.  It also retards the progression
of stress cracks and other damage caused by uneven tension,
flexing and mishandling.
 

Insurance claim estimates

We are glad to provide estimates for insurance claims.
 

 
Collector Lawrence Branagan with his early 19th Century portrait,
after cleaning and restoration.
           

 
A thank-you note from a collector of Arthur Diehl's paintings:
 
September 30, 2013
 
Dear Mr. Wood,
 
I wanted to thank
you for the beautiful work
restoring our Arthur Diehl
Paintings.  Eventually, I will bring
the previously cleaned paintings
in for appraisal.  (Two that
were cleaned & repaired at
RISD.)  Your work was far
superior!
 
Thank you again...
 

 
Oil painting portrait cleaned and repaired
Oil painting portrait cleaned and repaired, before and after.
This small (10 inches high) portrait of a lovely little girl was painted in Maine in the late 1890's.  It had a heavy layer of grime and darkened varnish, but the worst damage was caused by an old attempt at cleaning which partially removed the paint on her face and the background above.  Careful cleaning revealed the basic outlines of the hair, eyes and nose, which were used as a guide in re-creating the face.
 

 
Edward Potthast oil painting cleaned at the Woodshed Gallery Franklin MA 508-533-6277
 
The above detail of a painting by Edward Potthast shows how cleaning and new varnish can bring back contrast and colors in an old oil painting.
 

 
A 17th century French altar panel required delicate cleaning and in-painting.
 

 
 
The above portrait shows silent-film star Rudolph Valentino in the costume of
his last role.  Valentino is believed to have sat for this portrait,
and it belonged to one of his co-stars for many years. 
Unfortunately, a subsequent owner wasn't a Valentino fan,
and stored this bit of Hollywood history in a damp basement. 
The paint was lifting all-over and resembled a mess of potato chips. 
Careful re-gluing, patching and retouching were needed to restore the
leading-man's heart-throb appearance.
 
 
 
The above painting was made about 1910, and suffered from poor materials, water damage and shrinking, which literally tore it apart.
After careful reconstruction, it is beautiful again!
 

Love's Melancholy, (above)
collection of  the Art Institute of Chicago.
The painting on the left is possibly a
study for this highly-finished piece.
 
The circa 1865 oil painting above had multiple tears and scrapes, along with a thick layer of grime.
During restoration, it was discovered that the painting may be a study for Love's Melancholy,
an 1866 oil painting by Constant Mayer (1829-1911) which is in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago.
 
The loose and cracked paint was consolidated, and a vapor treatment helped relax the painting.
It was lined onto a new piece of polyester canvas,  cleaned, holes repaired, and in-painted.
A new coat of non-yellowing varnish brought out all the details.
 
 

 
This painting of sunrise in Venice was covered in multiple layers of dirt and yellowed varnish.  It also suffered from a few tears, holes and general neglect.  Once cleaned and repaired, the drama of the morning light has returned.
 

 
This view of our studio shows paintings of the Deans and Presidents of Dean College in various stages of repair. 
 
The photo on the right is a detail of the 1864 portrait of Oliver Dean during cleaning and varnish removal.  Turns out he didn't have a tan!
 

BEFORE
AFTER
Oil on linen portrait circa 1040, before repairs.
 
This oil portrait of a former Superintendant of the Boston Public Schools
had been wrapped in newspaper and stored in a hot attic for decades.
 
The heat caused the paint to melt in spots and bond with the newspaper.  Also, the painting had never been varnished, and severe oxidation caused discoloration in the face and an overall haze on the surface of the painting, obscuring many details.  There was also a small (one inch) hole in the shirt and tie.
Oil on linen portrait circa 1040, repaired and framed
 
After cleaning, restoring and conserving the painting, the colors have returned to what the artist intended.
 


 
Cuzco School Oil Painting repair
Years of accumulated soot and grime were removed from this antique Peruvian Cuzco School painting of the Archangel Uriel.
 

 
This early Twentieth Century oil portrait of Belle Dole, wife of James Drummond Dole (founder of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901)
had suffered from humidity and a fall.  There was a puncture at the tip of her nose, several severe cracks, discolored varnish, and off-color paint from an old restoration. 
 
When uncovering the back of the painting, we discovered that the artist painted Mrs. Dole on top of a painting of a child!  The outlines of the original image can be seen in the above photo of the back of the canvas. 
 
The portrait received a vapor treatment to relax the cracks, and was lined onto archival polyester canvas to reinforce it.  The old varnish was removed, the puncture was repaired, and the face was in-painted and retouched. After a coat of non-yellowing varnish, Belle looks like she's returned from a spa.
 

 
Oil portrait before and after repairs and cleaning
This portrait, reputed to be of Virginia Woolf, was painted by Boston artist
Mary Catherine Callan in the early 1900's.  Somewhere between then and now,
the portrait collected a thick layer of grime and a few punctures.  The ear was almost totally lost.
 

 
Water Damaged Oil Painting Portrait Repair
This faded and water-stained portrait was stabilized and rejuvinated.
 

 
Portrait repair before & after
 
This 1921 oil painting on wooden panel had been in-expertly painted over (white paint covers the chest)
and it was neglected for years.  The original painting was never varnished, and the over-painting had
bonded with the original paint.  Even so, it was mostly removed and then retouched.
 

 

 
Oil painting cleaned and repaired at  Woodshed Gallery Franklin MA 508-533-6277

 
Impressionist oil painting cracks repaired at  Woodshed Gallery Franklin MA 508-533-6277

 
See the stories behind some of the more interesting restoration projects.


 
 
 

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Oil Painting Restoration and Repair for Franklin, Medway, Walpole, Bellingham, Norfolk, Foxboro, Mendon, Hopedale, Millis, Milford, Holliston, Westwood, Dover, Dedham, Wellesley, Providence, Boston, Cape Cod, Concord, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Attleboro, Warwick, Grafton, Uxbridge, Upton, Cambridge, Holliston, Sherborn, Natick, Framingham, Worcester, Marlborough, Wayland, Weston, Gloucester, Newburyport, Peabody, Cohasset, Needham, Waltham, Lincoln, Sudbury, Ashland, Massachusetts Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Maine.
 
 
 
 
 
Copyright 2017 The Woodshed Gallery LLC, 1243 Pond Street, Franklin, MA 02038  508-533-6277
Art depicted on this site is copyrighted by the individual artists and may not be reproduced without permission.