This lovely portrait was brought to our attention by a local Southport customer in the St. James community. This painting has been in their family for nearly 200 years, and the subject is a family member. It’s a large painting at 3×5 feet, and of significant historical value. As you can see from our “before” photos, it was in terrible shape.

Heirloom oil painting restored by Strazza The painting had a few rips, and it was severely covered with a dark substance that had probably built up for generations. Often times it’s smoke buildup, but we had to do some testing to see what it was and what would clean it. Further, the canvas itself was so stretched, such that we have never seen before, that this posed the question, could it be flattened, stretched, or even relined.

After discussing all the possibilities and budget with our clients, they decided what was most practical for them with this particular restoration. With that in hand we set off to bring this painting back to life.

Lisa was excited to do this restoration from the minute she saw the painting in our customers home. Somehow she just knew it would be spectacular. When it arrived at our studio, Lisa waisted no time in testing to see how we would clean and repair it. Her methodical testing proved to be successful after several tries, and the painting started to show some promise. In the end, the cleaning process was complex, and tedious, but such is art restoration.

This was a brittle 120+ year old canvas, embedded with 120+ years of “who knows what”, with rips that needed to be stitched back together, paint that needed to be cleaned, and then all the rips and holes color matched and repainted to perfection in such a way as to be un-noticed. That’s a pretty tall order. This is why only those trained to handle such things, should handle such things. This painting would have been a true disaster in the hands of someone unqualified.

In the end, we had a wonderful result. With the guidelines set by our customers, we were able to bring this painting back to an amazing look and condition. And, it will look great for generations to come. When our lovely customers first saw their painting restored, they we extremely happy with the results, and told us we had well exceeded there expectations.

Below, see the painting as it went through the process of being restored.