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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

paintings conservation

At International Conservation Services, our paintings conservators  undertake treatments on all paintings and painted surfaces, including oil paintings, acrylic paintings, tempera, old masters, murals, painted signs, miniatures, icons and frames. Watercolours are generally treated by our paper conservation department.

The typical problems we see, which all paintings can suffer, include: 

  • Tears/holes in canvasesModern art
  • Flaking
  • Cracking and loss of paint
  • Discolouration from dirt, smoke and old varnishes
  • Mould damage
  • Deformation of the canvas

Damage sustained to ornate or antique frames can include loss of decorative elements, bronze overpaint and the build-up of dust and dirt over time.

The cause of this damage to paintings can be varied, and includes:

  • General age and deteriorationOld master
  • Physical impact, such as impact, tears or falls
  • Flood and water damage
  • Fire damage, including smoke and soot
  • Environmental factors, such as mould

The conservation treatment methodology developed for your artwork depends on a variety of factors, such as the nature of damage and the condition of the work. However, the types of treatments we commonly undertake include:

  • Surface cleaning and varnish removal
  • Stabilisation of flaking or powdering paint
  • Filling and inpainting of damages and losses
  • Emergency stabilisation of artworks after flood and fire (disaster response)
  • Tear repairs and mending
  • Flattening of distortions
  • Treatment of mould
  • Lining onto new fabric supports
  • Strip lining
  • Re-stretching and re-tensioning canvases
  • Varnishing paintings
  • Removal of overpaint to reveal original work on both paintings and heritage interiors
  • Restoration and conservation of frames, including replication of losses, regilding and cleaning
  • Investigation of paint schemes to reveal original paint colours and decorations

Our paintings conservators can also provide advice on correct display methods and framing, as well as appropriate hanging systems and storage methods for your artwork. We can also advise on appropriate packing and transport methods as required.


St James Anglican Church Sydney