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How to Clean My Original Artwork

Friday, November 24, 2017

One common question we get asked at The Erin Hanson Gallery is, “How do I clean my painting?” This is a vital piece of knowledge that every art collector should have in his or her repertoire. Whether you are a serious or casual collector, it’s important to know how to care for the paintings you cherish.

That said, “how to clean art” isn’t something commonly taught in schools. Art curators and conservationists are specially trained in this area, but few outside this select group know what they are doing when caring for their art. That’s why we’ve provided a step-by-step how-to guide for you to follow when cleaning your Erin Hanson oil painting:

California Greens, oil on canvas by Erin Hanson, 2014
California Greens, oil on canvas by Erin Hanson, 2014

How to Clean Your Painting:

1. Take the painting down and place it face up on a sturdy, well-lit surface. We recommend you cover the surface with a towel or something similar to avoid scratching the table's surface. A clean table with direct lighting is your best painting-cleaning station.

2. Get a soft brush. (A very soft sable paintbrush would be ideal). Use this brush to gently dust your painting. Recommended: da Vinci Dusting Brush White Synthetic

3. If there are any spots of dirt, you have a choice. Either send it to a professional painting restorer or use a polyurethane-ether-based beauty wedge. To remove any potentially damaging chemicals, rinse the beauty wedge in distilled water and then let it dry fully. Then rub the spot of dirt on your painting. Be very gentle. If the dirt is stubborn, send your piece to a professional for cleaning. 

*Pro tip (no joke!): use some spit to help break down stubborn dirt on your painting.

4. Here are some things NOT to do! Don't clean with a microfiber cloth, as the little fibers will catch in the ridges of Erin Hanson's highly textured oil paintings. Paper towels and other cleaning cloths leave little fiber residues behind, so don't use these either! Just stick with beauty wedges rinsed in distilled water. Don't use any sort of solvent or cleaning spray around your artwork (not even on the frame.)

If your painting has glass covering the work:

Follow step 1. Then do the following:

a. Get an ammonia-free glass cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth. Spray the cleaner on the cloth and wipe it gently over the glass.

b. Dry with another soft, lint-free cloth.

*Note: Never spray a cleaner directly onto the glass, as it may seep behind the glass and come in contact with your painting or any matting or warp the frame.

Your painting is not only valuable, it’s something unique and beautiful that needs to be preserved. If you have any questions about the care or handling of your painting, don’t hesitate to contact us here at The Erin Hanson Gallery. We are here to help ensure that you enjoy Erin Hanson’s works for years to come.


Erin Hanson ArtistERIN HANSON has been painting in oils since she was 8 years old. As a young artist, she worked at a mural studio creating 40-foot-tall paintings on canvas, while selling art commissions on the side. After getting a degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, Erin became a rock climber at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Inspired by the colorful scenery she was climbing, she decided to paint one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history. Erin Hanson's style is known as "Open Impressionism" and is now taught in art schools worldwide. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism.

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