Cleaning tole paint
May 25, 2014 7:13 AM   Subscribe

I have a tole painted wooden bowl that has been on a shelf for possibly decades. It is now tinged yellow. I tried wiping with a damp cloth and a bit of baking soda but that didn't make a difference. I don't want to try anything to harsh and risk damaging the painting. What's the best way to restore this? And then how to maintain it in the future?
posted by platypus of the universe to Grab Bag (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's hard to say without knowing what caused the yellowing. It could be old varnish or smoke and dust damage (if it resided in a home where people smoked or was near a wood stove).

They do make products to remove both from oil paintings. You don't want the same thing that removes varnish from furniture, if it is indeed varnish. For example.

I suggest taking the bowl to an art supply store and asking about those types of products. You can also contact an art museum, and perhaps some art restorers, and get some quotes. I'm sure someone in your area has run across these types of artifacts before and would know their history and what types of paints and varnishes were commonly used.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:34 AM on May 25, 2014

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