Restoration Services FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions | Art Restoration

What types of art can Old World Restorations, Inc. restore?

We and frames of all kinds, ceramic and porcelain objects, pottery, wood, metal, stone, ivory, glass, mixed media, lacquer, paper artwork, documents, photographs, , and architectural elements including murals, frescoes, gold leaf, light fixtures, etc.

How do I get an estimate for restoration services?

Our fees are based on the time and materials needed to complete each project. To provide an estimate we need to examine the item. Preliminary estimates can be provided from sent to us via regular mail or by submitting an online form found at the “Request a Quote” link on this web site

What is the difference between Art Restoration and Conservation?

In basic terms, conservation is preserving and stabilizing a work of art in its current condition. Conservation of artwork involves examination, scientific analysis and research to determine original structure, materials and the extent of loss. Art restoration's objective is to return artwork to its original state or form. To restore an object is to reconstruct its aesthetic appearance. It is not necessary to restore an art object in order to conserve it.

What restoration options do you offer?

Many items lend themselves to different restoration options. Painting restorations often vary widely in what can and should be done. We work with our clients to agree on a course of restoration that is in the best interest of the artwork without over-restoring it. Object restoration options usually fall into one of three categories: resecure only, partial restoration and complete restoration. As the names suggest, a piece only resecured will still show the damage. A complete restoration will show no evidence of the damage to the naked eye. A partial restoration will achieve something between these two options. Regardless of what, or how much, is done to a given work of art, our high standard of quality is never compromised.

How do I know if my art or heirloom is worth restoring?

We suggest that every client know the value of their artwork so they can make an informed decision regarding their restoration investment. Sources for determining value include price guidebooks, auction catalogs, internet searches and accredited appraisers. Many times the value of an item brought to us for restoration is purely sentimental.

How does restoration affect the value of an item?

This depends on who you ask. We see some pieces with factory repairs that were sold as pristine. Most pieces in a museum have some restoration and their value continues to climb. To us, if our restoration has corrected damage without altering the original artist's work, then we have succeeded in restoring much of the value. Some porcelain manufacturers have stated that a professionally restored piece can maintain 70 - 90% of its original value. Consideration must be given to the rarity of the item, the extent of damage and the quality of the restoration.

How long should a restoration last, is it permanent?

Our are reversible and performed with materials that do not permanently alter the original artist's work. This allows future restorers the option to remove and redo the work we have done without causing any additional harm to the artwork. The American Institute of Conservation (AIC) holds this principle of reversibility as one of its central standards of practice. As long-time members of AIC, we adhere to this principle. A professional restoration, if not subjected to extremes of heat, cold, moisture or bright light, should last for many years.

What can be done if my art has previous restoration or is missing pieces?

Many items we restore have pieces missing or poor previous repairs. In the case of previous repairs, we reverse them so that we can begin our restoration from what is left of the original. When pieces are missing we fabricate the loss whether it is to a painting, frame or figurine. All losses are constructed from reversible synthetic materials.

How long does it take to get something restored?

We have projects in our studio that take less time and projects that take more time to complete. Return customers acquired since 1978 have provided us with a backlog of work which usually varies from 12 to 16 weeks. We can usually accommodate our customers scheduling needs and special requests.

Will I be able to detect the restoration after you have completed the work?

We certainly hope not, but it is inaccurate to say that every item we work on can be restored to "like new" condition. For example, it is impossible to invisibly restore breaks in transparent glass. In most cases, however, invisible to the naked eye are possible.

What is the safest way to get my artwork to you for an estimate?

The "safest" way is to hand carry the item to our studio. Since this is not always possible, we suggest the following packing instructions:

  • To keep the object clean and to avoid any additional damage, we recommend that it be wrapped in tissue and bubble wrap.
  • Individual broken components should be wrapped and suspended, not touching each other, in a sturdy cardboard carton cushioned with packing peanuts, bubble wrap or newsprint. That box should be suspended in a second carton, surrounded by suitable packing material.
  • Include in the box your name, address, phone number and email address with a note describing the damage and what you hope we can do for you.
  • Adequately insure the item with the carrier against damage or loss.
  • We ship and receive UPS and Fedex daily, but other carriers may be used as well.
  • Paintings need to be safeguarded from moisture and punctures; therefore, we recommend they be wrapped in glassine paper or polyethylene film and then packed in a wooden or puncture-resistant crate. If you call or write us with dimensions of your painting we can build a crate and send it to you for a fee.
  • Contact UPS
  • Contact FedEX
  • Contact Air Float

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