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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.


  • : Never use water or solvent to clean your paintings.
  • 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.
  • Step 2: Use a soft-bristle brush Gently dust the painting with a soft-bristle brush.
  • TIP: As you're using the brush, imagine that you're dusting pollen from flower petals.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Before you use bread on an oil painting, make sure the paint layers are firmly attached so you don’t rub off any paint.
  • Step 4: Brush away crumbs Brush away any excess bread crumbs.
  • Step 5: Hang the picture Hang or re-hang your painting. Take a moment to enjoy the satisfaction of having successfully restored your artwork.
  • FACT: In 2006, researchers determined that the model for the Mona Lisa was pregnant or had just given birth.

You Will Need

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

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