The Physics of Reworking an Old Painting
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    The Physics of Reworking an Old Painting

    I've got an oil painting I'd like to sell, but I want to bring it up a level. It's at least a year old now. So what's the word on painting over in oil, when the first layer's completely dry? Good idea? Bad idea?

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    Should work fine. You didn't put any varnish on it, though, did you?

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    No, but it's a bit dusty. Any advice on cleaning a dusty oil painting?

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    you should be able to just dust it off with a soft cloth. I mean, it's oils so you can even wipe it with a damp cloth and it won't hurt anything. I had to clean a spot with my thumb and saliva recently, no big deal. I wouldn't recommend it but it won't hurt the painting.

    Once you've got the surface nice and clean, you may want to add a thin coat of retouch varnish or a very thin coat of medium to bring back the color. It'll make painting back in alot easier as far as matching color and value

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    I don't know if it's true but I've read that a thin layer of oil increases the adhesion between layers. Also the damp cloth is a fine idea- I have a dusty dorm and clean my paintings with a viva paper towel and water to get all the little bits off before I varnish them.

    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
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