How do I repair a rip in oil painting on canvas?
March 15, 2013 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Have an oil painting, self portrait of my old man, there is an L shaped rip around 6x4in flap. What's the best way to repair it?
posted by daveo'h to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Take it to an expert in art restoration. It's what they do.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:36 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Cut a piece of extra canvas, glue (rabbitskin glue found in art stores) it to the back of the tear. Carefully fill in front side of tear with gesso to match painting level, dry, paint in patch to match painting, then revarnish. Thems the basics.
posted by artdrectr at 3:18 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'd get some linen tape from the bookbinders section of the art store and tape the cut from the reverse, then back the canvas with a rigid support. Minimal treatment to the front of the canvas; that is, I would rather live with a small hairline than try to overpaint the damage.
posted by effluvia at 3:31 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're not comfortable attempting a repair yourself, call a local art department or art history department and they may be able to match you with someone who has restoration experience.
posted by bq at 5:05 PM on March 15, 2013

You didn't infer this at all, but if expense is a factor, professional art restorers are surprisingly cost-reasonable. And the results are "Wow!".
posted by Lornalulu at 3:53 AM on March 16, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks artdrcter, the rabbitskin glue was only available in quart containers and around $25 bucks in Pearl Paint on Canal here in NYC, so I purchased something called archival glue, recommended by an out of work artist I know (It suspiciously resembles Elmer's) then I went along with effluvia and left the front alone
posted by daveo'h at 12:43 PM on April 3, 2013

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