Watercolour Restoration & works on paper
The restoration of watercolour paintings and artworks on paper can be a particularly delicate process. Paintings are often completed on fragile paper, and are more susceptible to tears, punctures, mould and insect infestation.
- Any tears and missing areas in watercolours can be repaired by using liquid paper pulp or lined with Japanese tissue. The fragility of the substrates involved makes this a delicate and careful task.
- Other common issues that affect watercolours include mould, foxing and staining from acid damage.
- The appearance of mould can be attributed to the painting being stored in damp, humid, and poorly ventilated conditions.
- Moisture in the atmosphere reacting with impurities on the paper can also cause rusty brown spots, known as foxing, to appear.
- Historically, watercolours were framed using mounts and backing boards that are now known to contain acid. This acid leaches from the boards into the paper causing it to turn a yellow or brown colour. Acidic damage can be fully reversed in the studio, revealing the original colours of the artwork.
- Insect infestation can be a significant problem with artworks on paper. Silverfish can eat away at paper and board. To restore artworks affected by silverfish and other insect infestations, we first treat the entire artwork and frame to kill any remaining insects or eggs.
- The damage to areas where the paper has been eaten can be filled with liquid paper pulp and other staining to the paper is reversed.
Works on Paper
- Original printed artworks including etchings, engravings and lithographs, require restoration most commonly to address deterioration, staining and mould.
- Stained paper can be washed, and areas of heavy staining bleached back to the colour of the surrounding paper.
- Tears to the paper are treated using the same processes as watercolours where the damage is lined with Japanese tissue and the fibres pulled back together.
- Mould damage and foxing spots can be treated and reversed in most original prints, restoring the surface pigments.