How to Clean a Painting

If your oil and watercolor paintings are covered in dust and dirt, learn how to clean them using common household items.


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You Will Need

  • A new, soft-bristle brush
  • Unsliced doughy bread


  1. Never use water or solvent to clean your paintings.

  2. Step 1

    Decide whether you can do it

    Decide whether you can clean the painting yourself. If it's extremely valuable or an antique, use a professional.

  3. Step 2

    Use a soft-bristle brush

    Gently dust the painting with a soft-bristle brush.

  4. As you're using the brush, imagine that you're dusting pollen from flower petals.

  5. Step 3

    Use a loaf of bread

    Use the inside of the bread to remove any dirt. Break off a piece of bread and gently rub a section of the painting. When that piece is dirty, break off another piece and continue on another section.

  6. Before you use bread on an oil painting, make sure the paint layers are firmly attached so you don’t rub off any paint.

  7. Step 4

    Brush away crumbs

    Brush away any excess bread crumbs.

  8. Step 5

    Hang the picture

    Hang or re-hang your painting. Take a moment to enjoy the satisfaction of having successfully restored your artwork.

  9. In 2006, researchers determined that the model for the Mona Lisa was pregnant or had just given birth.