The Fine Art of Cleaning Fine Art
Great care should be taken when cleaning anything of value, whether it is a priceless heirloom from a relative or a recently purchased oil painting from a local artist. Use the tips below, or leave it to the pros.
Cleaning Original Oil Paintings
Oil paintings can be both tricky and delicate, and if there is the slightest concern about the finish, they should be handled only by those trained in art restoration. If you feel confident and your oil painting only needs a slight once-over, you can use a soft, fine bristled brush (a paintbrush is appropriate for several reasons) to dust over the grooves and canvas as needed. Follow with a soft bristled vacuum attachment, being careful not to move the fabric of the canvas as you sweep up loose debris. The same care can be taken with the frame, if applicable.
Chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes and styles, and most contain vast amounts of glass, crystal, or polished metal. If your chandelier is relatively new, follow the care instructions that accompanied the packaging. For the most part, every chandelier cleaning project begins with shutting off the light and allowing it to cool while you place a drop cloth beneath the fixture to catch the dust as it flies. Depending upon the level of dust and grime, you may only need a light dusting; if it’s more intense, you’ll be up on the ladder, delicately washing each crystal or bulb one at a time.
The good news is that once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your chandelier, regular dusting will be all you’ll need to do for a long time.
Cleaning Marble Statues
Marble is generally easy to clean; it is a rock, after all. Best practice is sparingly use mild dish detergent in a bucket of warm water (just enough to easily break the surface tension of any dirt or grime). Using a soft sponge or cloth, wipe the marble statue down with firm, but delicate passes, being careful not to tip or scratch the statue or the surrounding floor or table. Go over it once again with a plain wet cloth to remove any soap residue, and then dry the statue with a clean, soft towel.