Conservation results

Conservation results

Replacing outdated varnish layers

Here you can see Tjarda van Starkenborg before and after restoration. A beautiful portrait from the 18th century on an oak panel. The grain runs from top to bottom, as is normal for a panel portrait. The painting turned out to be covered with two layers of aged varnish. Tjarda looked dark at the world until the varnish was removed and replaced. Now he is showing off in his own deposit Verhildersum in Leens

Remove nicotine and tar deposits

Gone are the days when everyone smoked in the house. The smell and color of a nicotine layer is unmistakably yellow and brown. Look how the yellow makes the blue background look green. Here is a thick layer of cigarette deposits directly on the paint. After the sticky dirt was removed, the blush returned to her cheeks. A clear difference between before and after restoration that you can see in the Zuiderzee Museum .

Remove soot layers and varnish

Jan Abel Wassenbergh painted the Flora mantelpiece in the 18th century. She has been hanging above the same fireplace in the garden room ever since. Three centuries of drought and soot have severely damaged it. It was quite a journey to make Flora shine again in her indigo dress. Removing soot and varnish, attaching raised paint flakes, supplementing and coloring missing layers of paint, up to and including a new layer of varnish. Flora transformed that can be clearly seen in the before and after photo.verfschollen hechten, ontbrekende verflagen aanvullen en op kleur brengen, tot en met een nieuwe vernislaag. Flora transformeerde dat is goed te zien in de voor en na foto.

Een vuile vernislaag reinigen

Cleaning a dirty varnish layer

Sometimes you want to keep a layer of varnish because the layers of paint are so fragile. Or because the patina of an aged varnish can be charming. Only removing that gray shutter can work wonders. Outdated layers of varnish are vulnerable to cleaning, so this preserving operation is also a challenge for the restorer. The before and after image of this treatment is striking.


In conclusion, all paintings require a very individual treatment from the restorer. The starting point is a thorough investigation before implementation. The challenge is to draw up a well-considered restoration plan without doing violence to the artwork. Restore with respect for the material and the image. The before and after examples give an impression of this.

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