How to Age an Oil Painting

So, You want an aged oil painting!

When we do art reproductions, especially for period houses, we are often asked to make sure that the paintings look like they were painted centuries ago. I remember we were once asked to paint Vermeer’s A Girl with a Pearl Earring  but to do so in such a way that the whole painting had to have a “cracked effect” (craquelure). I’ve attached the photo to show you exactly what I mean.  The customer loved it, and if that’s what you’re after, it’s very easy to do but personally I think it looks a bit contrived, so we’ve steered away from this technique.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring using the Craquelure technique

What do we do now then? Well, we use an art restorer here in London and the results are really fantastic. The oil painting has to be completely dry and this takes 6 months. So patience is definitely a virtue but it’s worth the wait. Once dry, amongst other things, the restorer mixes varnish with a brown paint, usually Van Dyke Brown and brushes it onto the painting. We can do this for you (if you want us to hold onto your painting until it is absolutely dry), but alternatively you could just take your painting to an art restorer yourself once it’s dry. It’s not expensive and your oil painting will look FABULOUS!

Aged Art Reproduction

Detail of oil painting by Fabulous Masterpieces. Painted in 2010 but looks centuries old!


3 responses to “How to Age an Oil Painting”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very Cool Painitngs you have! I really like it. Thanks you!

  2. Jenny Pingtown says:

    It was certainly interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it.

  3. Dan Edmondson says:

    Thanks for sharing these facts on how to age an oil painting!…Daniel

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