fine art dealer painting restoration

Advice from a Fine Art Dealer on Painting Restoration

Here at Victoria Fine Art, we are experts in painting restoration and picture frame restoration. With over 30 years of experience working on everything from sixteenth century panels and old masters, right through to modern British paintings, our painting restoration services are both sympathetic to the piece of art in question, and of exceptionally high standards of quality.

As a fine art dealer, in addition to helping people build collections, I also spend time helping people to restore pieces of artwork that perhaps have suffered the ravages of time. We have some of the finest restorers in the country able to undertake all works.

Why Would you Need Painting Restoration?

There are many reasons why one may require a painting restoration service. Antique, contemporary, and modern paintings may all need some sort of conservation treatment during their lives. Some paintings may become torn or ripped during a careless move, may be damaged by fire, smoke, water or moisture, or even develop mould. In other cases, paintings may have been poorly restored in the past and work is needed to restore them to their original state. Cracking and flaking of paint are also common problems for aged paintings, but can be resolved by consolidating the paint layer, reapplying loose pigments, and then restoring the missing areas to ensure stability in the future.

Before we begin the process of painting restoration, we always evaluate the project thoroughly due to the various different approaches that can be utilised, and the complexity needed for each individual piece. Details of the piece are required including artist, size, subject, and condition. From there we also need a selection of images of the of the painting or frame in order to give an approximate idea of cost and timescale. Although this will not be an exact quotation because it’s hard to predict until the image has been assessed by the restorer and paintings will sometimes throw up unforeseen problems, the estimate will generally fall between two parameters and act as a guide.

Conservation & Restoration of Fine Art

Here at Victoria Fine Art, it’s really important to us to ensure that every painting restoration we embark upon does not alter the artistic or historical integrity of the piece. Even if your painting doesn’t need restoration, preventative treatments will ensure your artwork will look it’s best for decades to come. We also offer a full restoration service for oil paintings and antique frames, which may include relining paintings, and can offer all types of gilding from a standard gold finish to full gold leaf.

Painting Restoration & Fine Art Restoration

If you have any further questions regarding painting restoration, fine art restoration, or picture frame restoration services that we offer at Victoria Fine Art, or wish to set up an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to complete this form, telephone +44 (0)1727 861669 or email for more information.

antique oil painting frame restorer case study

The Art of Painting & Frame Restoration – A Case Study

It’s a fact of life that both paintings and frames with a history will inevitably bear the scars of the years that have gone by, whether as a result of time itself or climatic conditions, for example. Many paintings date back centuries, therefore the need for fine art restoration in order to preserve the integrity (and thus, value) of an original piece of artwork, is common.

When you purchase fine art, finding a painting restorer with plenty of experience is key to maintaining the historical integrity of the piece. It’s imperative that even small blemishes and cracks are attended to with speed and sensitivity, as leaving such marks of time alone will only cause them to worsen until the damaged layers are more difficult to reverse.

Victoria Fine Art are proud to offer a comprehensive fine art restoration service, including oil painting restoration and picture frame restoration. Over the years we have naturally had the privilege of restoring an impressive number of exquisite pieces of fine art.

Restoration Case Study

I’d like to share the details of a recent picture frame restoration project that Victoria Fine Art carried out, of which I am especially proud. A collector came to me with a frame that was bought in an auction, but which was heavily damaged. It was a truly beautiful and ornate frame but as you’ll see from the pictures, the section at the top which should represent a flag was missing, as well as other features such as letters and ornaments that were integral to the design of the title cross. In addition, one complete shield was missing at the bottom of the frame, with only a section of the other remaining.

During the restoration process of the top half of the frame, a dentist’s purple stent was used to take a mould of the left-hand flag in order to replace the missing part of the flag on the right-hand side. The cross, letters, and shot were also fixed at this point. To move forward with the next stage of the picture frame restoration, it was necessary to carry out research into the 22nd Massachusetts monument in the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District, which carries a similar military motif to the remains of the plaque at the very bottom of the frame. Fortunately, here at Victoria Fine Art, we own hundreds of antique moulds that we able to use on occasions where they are suitable. In this case we were able to select one whose design was very similar to the leaves we discovered during the research on the monument, and using these, we were able to recreate the whole shield sympathetically and accurately.

The next stage of the picture frame restoration process involved a clever inversion of the design for the shield on the left-hand side, therefore maintaining symmetry and consistency in the design on both sides of the frame. Once all of the top ornaments and missing leaves had been recreated, the whole frame was prepared for gilding. After gilding, the transformation was truly complete, and the difference astounding. The piece now hangs proudly in the Union League of Philadelphia, America, and our collector is extremely happy with the final result.

Click below for the full restoration process in images…

Finally, I would like to share the full testimonial from my client regarding the completed picture frame restoration. As you’ll see, he was very pleased with what we were able to achieve with a trained eye, expert restoration techniques, and substantial amount of research.

A Word From The Restoration Customer


Being a collector for over 35 years of buying quality 19th Century European and British Victorian paintings, I have come to realize that a proper period or high-quality replica frame can enhance or detract from one’s coveted work of art. Without the proper frame, a quality painting will just not show as well.

Whether I buy my paintings in Europe, Britain, or America, I always ship them to Victoria Fine Art to restore the original frame; or find and restore a proper period frame. I leave this decision to Jonathan Roberts of Victoria Fine Art as he knows what is best. If the right period frame cannot be found, then Jonathan selects one of their excellent quality reproduction frames to enhance the painting.

Jonathan Roberts and his trained staff have always given me the most outstanding quality possible. They go “the extra mile” to provide the best; they are true craftsmen. My friends ask me why I ship my paintings from America overseas to Victoria Fine Art. The answer is always the same, they are the best!

Jonathan has the ability to think “outside the box”. A good example of his skills is to review the images on his website showing the restored period portrait frame of an American Civil soldier. He did extensive research to find the correct missing parts of the unusually designed frame.

Pease consider using their restoration services as well as buying their quality paintings; you will not be disappointed.

Dr John Faust Scottsdale, Arizona

 Fine Art Restorer

If you have any further questions regarding the fine art restoration and picture frame restoration services that we offer at Victoria Fine Art, or wish to set up an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to complete this form, telephone +44 (0)1727 861669 or email for more information.