painting restoration Katoomba


Ready to discuss your restoration project? Use the contact form below to request your free consult.

Better yet, give me a call.

Kristel:  0415 773 494

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Mob:  0415 773 494


Location: Katoomba, NSW


Mon – Fri:  9am – 5pm

Sat:  10am – 4pm

Visit by appointment only

painting restoration katoomba
painting maintenance
Painting detail before restoration
art maintenance
Painting detail after overpaint removal and restoration

To see more examples of art restoration work, visit the Gallery page here.

10 FAQs


Question 1:  How do you restore a painting?

KS :  It depends on the type of damage the painting has. The most common treatments I do are: removing surface dirt, removing a darkened varnish, laying down lifting and flaking paint, repairing tears in a canvas painting, filling paint losses and retouching losses and damages. Firstly I try to work out the cause of the damage and I stabilise it. For example when there’s flaking paint, I secure all the original paint that’s still present. Secondly I’ll reconstruct missing or damaged parts of the image. Damages in a painting tend to be what you focus on when you look at the painting. Once they disappear you can once again view the image properly and enjoy it.

Question 2:  What materials do you use?

KS :  The materials I use are chosen for their stability, so that they have minimal discolouration and deterioration over time, and they can be removed in the future if needed. They’re usually different from the materials used by the artist. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility of the material I intend to use with the original materials used by the artist, or those used by a previous restorer.

     Question 3:  How long will the art restoration work take?

KS :  Mostly I ask clients to expect about a month. Even if the treatment seems fairly minor, I usually juggle several projects at once, and I often need to wait for materials to dry or evaporate inbetween treatment steps. For large or complex projects the work can take longer, but I’ll advise you how long it’s likely to take when I’m doing the quote.

Question 4:  How much will it cost/ how do you charge?

KS :  I charge on an hourly basis and I try to keep my costs affordable but fair. I provide a quote upfront so you know exactly how much the restoration is going to cost. On that basis, the value or perceived value of your painting will often have little effect on the cost of a restoration treatment. Unfortunately I’m not able to work out the cost of a restoration from photos or your description of the painting over the phone. I’ll need to see your painting and do a few tiny tests and work out how your painting is likely to respond to treatment. People often wait until a problem is very severe before getting a painting looked at. Often it pays to deal with damages sooner rather than later, instead of waiting until the painting needs lots of work. 

Question 5:  What made you want to become an art conservator?

KS :  My cousin in the Netherlands is a well respected sculpture conservator. As a teenager I became aware of his job and what he does. When I started reading more about the profession of art restoration, being a mix of science and art, I knew it was perfect for me. I’ve always loved art and was fascinated by science, as well as being very patient with an eye for detail. It’s unusual for a young teenager to be attracted to restoration or even to know much about it, so I have my cousin to thank for that. Although I was one of the youngest students in my program at university, as soon as I got there I knew I was in the right place.

Question 6:  What causes an artwork to decay?

KS :  Ten different factors have been identified as causing change and decay to an artwork. Out of these, the 6 most common are: careless handling, exposure to light, temperature fluctuations, humidity, dirt and insect attack. Pollution can also be an issue depending on where you live. Paying attention to the environment of your artwork will help to preserve it. For example, don’t leave it in direct sunlight, regularly clean the room where it’s located, monitor the room for insects, don’t hang it on an exterior wall or above a fireplace etc. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”.

Question 7:  Can you stop the deterioration?

KS :  Ultimately all materials age and change, just like people do. It’s a fact of life. A restoration treatment can help to stop a condition from progressing and it can even largely reverse it. For example, treating flaking paint will secure and flatten the paint and prevent it from being lost. Dirt on a painting can gradually attract moisture and mould. Therefore cleaning a painting can help to prevent current problems from progressing or future problems from developing. Keeping a picture in a fairly stable and clean environment after it’s been restored will also help to preserve it for longer. It’s a question of slowing down the aging process rather than stopping it entirely.

Question 8:  My artwork is in very bad condition, can you still restore it?

KS :  In most cases, yes. Even when the client thinks the artwork may no longer be salvageable. It’s very rare that I can’t restore a painting or at least make a significant improvement so that it’s still able to be enjoyed. However I usually ask clients not to expect a painting to look brand new after restoration. A 100 year old painting without any signs of age looks odd. I’m careful not to over-restore a painting, making it look like a fake. Artworks age just as people do, and some hairline cracks in the paintfilm can lend authenticity to an old painting. It provides evidence of the life it’s already lived.

Question 9:  Can you fix damages to the frame?

KS :  For major frame issues I’ll refer you to a frame restorer, as they’re the experts at dealing with the specific materials and problems that frames have. But I can help you with light cleaning and touching up small damages to a frame. I’ve done training in both frame-making and gilding, giving me enough expertise to deal with minor frame issues.

Question 10:  Do you restore watercolour paintings?

KS :  It makes sense you’d assume a painting restorer also restores watercolour paintings. However, because watercolours are on paper they become the work of a paper conservator. That’s because paper presents its own unique challenges. Art restoration is quite a specialised field and conservators tend to stick to their area of specialisation, to get you the best results. If you need a paper restorer you can visit the AICCM website and use their search tool – here.