Tips For Fine Art Collectors

Patch a Painting? Here’s the Proof!!


I’m often asked, “Should I patch a painting on canvas”? When I answer that there are a myriad of problems that result in the long term preservation and appearance of the artwork, the “listener” doesn’t seem to get it, because I’m often asked as a follow up, “Well, what about acrylic paintings on canvas” or “What about new paintings”? Let me be clear about this: Patching a rip or a hole should be avoided on ALL PAINTINGS ON CANVAS. Its a quick and cheap technique of art restoration in the low quality category.

Here is a photos of a painting that came into the lab today…
DSC00856 low res

You’ll have to take my word for it that the bulges correspond to patched done in the last 25 years (I’m guessing).

A collector should be aware that patching is not a quality type of painting conservation treatment. So, you can negotiate with a seller, if you are buying, based on this knowledge that you now have… or you can avoid looking bad yourself by having this poor quality work done. A poor patching job and its adverse affects can also have an affect on the appraised value.

The follow up question, when the person asking the questions realizes that patching is not a good option, “Well then, how can I repair a hole?!?!?” That is not the subject of this blog post. But here is a video on patching a painting and you can find other videos from there that show how to fix a ripped canvas painting. Hopefully, you’ll watch my video on the subject and see how its done correctly.

Art conservation questions” Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

Comments (2)

Jim HellorMay 8th, 2016 at 7:37 am

Going through a process like this has its own risks, I assume. It cannot be an easy process to begin with, but if someone were to do it, how long do you think a patch like this would last before it would be noticed?

Scott HaskinsMay 8th, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Good question Jim. Sometimes its immediately. There are lots of variables… and then Father time has his way.

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