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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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How do you clean smoke film from acrylic paintings

Customer Question

I have several original acrylic paintings hanging on the wall. They are painted mainly with acrylic paint on gessoed canvas, but also have touches of oil or acrylic crayon worked onto the canvas, on top of the acrylic paint. Unfortunately, I am also a smoker, and years of my smoke has accumulated on the uncovered paintings, dulling their once-bright colors. How can I safely clean the smoke film off without damaging the artwork?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 9 years ago.


Here is a good website that will give you step by step instructions on how to clean your painting.

If you need any more information please let me know before you accept.

Thank you.

The Home Smithy and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to The Home Smithy's Post: Hi,

This site seems to give good advice, but it also seems to focus only on oil paintings. Can this advice be used on acrylic paintings as well?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 9 years ago.

I'm not absolutly sure but yes I think that the proceedures outlined on the website can be applied to acrylic also.

I am just home for some lunch. I will research this further when I return this evening and post the results here for you.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I would really appreciate you doing that. Thank you so much for your help!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hello "Home Smithy,"

I am going to have to sign off the Waiting Room now. The Web site is interfering with another application I need to use for work, and I have a deadline tomorrow.

Here's what I'm going to do: I am going to go ahead and click "accept" for your answer so you can be paid now. However, I hope you will still provide the additional information about acrylic (vs. oil) painting that you had promised. My email [email protected]

I know you are an honorable man, as your description says. So even though you've already been paid, I trust you will provide the additional information anyway.

Many thanks,
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 9 years ago.

It appears that I was wrong in assuming that the care of acrylic paintings was the same. It is not. Acrylic has some difficult, to say the least, care problems. Cleaning the paintings is even more problematic due to the softness of the paint, and the ease with which the appearance of the painting can be altered if done improperly.

Below are the two best articles that I could find about cleaning acrylic paintings. The first is a bit long winded but has some excellant technical advice. The second link is more descriptive and written more for the lay person.

Between the two of them I believe that you will be able to formulate a good plan as to how to proceed with cleaning your painting.

If you would like further information please let me know and I will see if there is more available.

Thank you for accepting and the nice bonus also.

Best regards; The Home Smithy

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to The Home Smithy's Post: Sorry for the late reply. I left town after I last replied to you and have just now gotten the chance to get online.

Thank you so much for the additional information! It looks like just the thing I was looking for.

I really appreciate your honesty in hunting it down, as well as answering me even after I accepted.

Best regards,

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