Yellow Flaking Paint

Impasto white beforeAbove: an impasto painting prior to restoration with areas of lost paint and discolouration

Impasto can be anything from raised brushstrokes on an antique painting or the work of a palette knife for an incredibly thick application.

Whilst the dynamic nature of impasto can give a strong and visually impressive appearance to a painting, it may also leave it at higher risk of deterioration as time goes on.

Impasto damage and vulnerabilities 

Impasto faces several dangers related to its three-dimensional structure. Firstly, it is more likely to be an acrylic painting which typically has no varnish layer to further protect it in the way an oil painting would, allowing the direct surface of an artwork to be stained or contaminated. 

Secondly, it is able to collect dust, debris, and airborne particles over time more readily than a flat painting, this can be incredibly difficult to safely clean at home and should only ever be attempted by a professional to avoid breakage to the structure.  

Lastly, our conservators often find that the sheer weight of this heavy paint may lead to it falling away from the canvas and deteriorating rapidly through flaking and widespread cracking.

A canvas can bend and move over time, any loosening or pressure may deteriorate the impasto structure further.

Professional impasto restoration

All of these dangers can be prevented and restored by our professional team. Our conservators hold a Masters degree in their fields of expertise and are experienced in the conservation of paintings to a museum standard. 

Painting conservators in our studio regularly clean impasto paintings of contamination and dust with precise and safe methods.

Our trained conservators can also professionally reinstate broken pieces or flaking areas with specialist solutions, all of which allow for the safe preservation of artworks.

All treatments are tested on the materials before they go ahead, ensuring that each is tailored for the needs of the specific painting. Every treatment will be completed with precision to ensure that the artwork maintains historic and artistic integrity as well as sentimental and monetary value. 

Anna consolidating sheila fellAbove: our conservator Anna consolidating the paint layer on a Sheila Fell artwork
Impasto white afterAbove: the same impasto painting following restoration in out studio, the lost paint has been reapplied and the surface is now clean

Accidental damage

An impasto painting may face accidental damage from overzealous cleaners, falls from height, or issues in transit and storage.

The delicate surface may break with even the slightest amount of pressure, so this can be devastating if a painting falls against another object or is tampered with in any way.

Cracks and breakages to impasto art can be restored by our team, including tears to the canvas and loss of paint. 

Inadequately prepped paintings

Our team often find that modern and contemporary pieces of impasto art may have not had a professionally primed canvas surface, this means it is lacking a sufficient ground layer and the paint is not as secure as it should be.

This is particularly the case from the 1960s onwards when less traditional forms of painting were practised without academic training.

Our conservators have restored several impasto floral paintings which came from the same artist, all of which had failed due to the lack of canvas preparation. These flaking pieces were carefully reapplied to the artwork and further areas were given small injections under the surface to allow for full stabilisation and consolidation of the paint layer. 

Impasto tip Martha

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I contacted Fine Art Restoration when an acrylic painting was damaged in a house move. I received a reasonable quote quickly, they collected and delivered the painting efficiently, and the damage repair was excellent. I could not have asked for more!

Thank you so much for cleaning and restoring my painting. Also your assistance in reframing it. The collection and return service was swift and efficient. I found your personal attention to the project most helpful. The painting is now bright and colourful and rehung on the lounge wall. I am pleased to recommend the services of Fine Art Restoration Co.

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