dust removal

Dust removal from paintings

Removing dust from a painting

Cleaning the back side of a painting on canvas is just as important as the front side. And the back side of the painting tells us a lot about the condition of the painting. Many paintings are dusty because it is a place that is never cleaned. Almost never and sometimes it’s cleaned in the wrong way. During cleaning you find, dust, dirt, dead insects and even pine needles! Guess why? Yes dust removal is essential for the preservation of the painting.

Examples of dust removal from paintings

Why dust removal from paintings?

Most paintings have a layer of dust on them. This dust is a breeding ground for fungi and insects. The dust soaks into the linen and accumulates behind the stretcher. The pine needles are from the Christmas decorations, thats why they appear behind the canvas during conservation work. Protection on the back of a painting can prevent damage and pollution. See my page on canvas conservation.

Dust removal using the vacuum cleaner

The Makita vacuum cleaner for removing dust from a painting

Dust accumulation is caused during time. But also by vistors in the exhibiton and even in storage. Therefor museums regularly clean their paintings on show and in storage. In museums Boijmans van Beuningen they use this Makita. During an assignment in the depot, Marjan de Visser was able to test this handy portable Makita during Dust removal from paintings.

Dust removal from paintings
Dirt accumulation on the back of a canvas, do you see the dead insect?

★ I like to share my knowledge of paintings and love for conservation with colleagues and clients ★

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Hendrick ten Oever

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