Elizabeth Stafford Fine Art -

What is Restoration & Conservation?

There are two treatment methods used to preserve your artworks.  Restoration is intended to improve the aesthetic, while Conservation is intended to preserve the integrity of your artwork while remaining reversible and adding longevity. 

At Elizabeth Stafford Fine Art, I am committed to providing treatment that preserves your investments and family heirlooms.  A conserved artwork will realize a higher value at auction or sale.  In some instances, all that is required to bring the luster back to your painting is a light cleaning or varnish removal.  Years of environmental pollutants such as nicotine will diminish visual clarity and cloud the true detail and colors of your works of art. Tears, surface abrasions, dents and losses can all be repaired seamlessly.

In the example below, a restoration was done over an aged and soiled painting.  In an effort to restore the brilliance covered by years of accumulated tallow smoke from candles, a restorer decided to completely paint over the work in lieu of a proper cleaning. In doing so, many of the details had been completely obliterated.  In fact, the artist's signature was painted over as well.  The entire background was actually a soft plaster wall, but it was 'in-painted' with a dark olive green.  The photo below shows from left to right, the in-painting of the background, the removed in-painting showing the tallow smoke underneath, then finally, the original paint hiding beneath.

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This painting was originally an example of a restoration process. The technique I used is an example of the conservation process, when the painting undergoes treatment to remove anything not executed by the artist.  To preserve the original paint, any necessary in-painting should be executed with conservation grade removable paints such as MSA acrylics.  These colors are reversible with mineral spirits and will not cross link with the original paint.  A final coat of varnish to seal and protect the painting is then applied.

Please refer to the Glossary of Terms page for more information.

I currently provide weekly service to: 
San Francisco, Hillsborough, Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Gatos, San Jose, 
Morgan Hill, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel.  I also serve the areas of Palm Springs and it's outlying cities.

Please contact me to set up an appointment and to determine when I will be in your area. If you are outside of these areas, a preliminary estimate can be made through photographs.  Artwork can then be shipped to my studio directly, and return shipped to your home or gallery.