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Easel painting



Hirst Conservation specialises in the conservation and restoration of paintings in an oil, acrylic or tempera medium, on canvas, wood or metal supports.

Hirst Conservation’s easel paintings studio is one of the largest in the UK. The premises are highly secure and well equipped.

Our team of easel paintings conservators includes members who have achieved accreditation status and/or have trained to postgraduate level.

The services offered for the treatment of easel paintings include:

Paint and ground layer:

  • Consolidation of flaking paint
  • Removal of surface coatings, including dirt, yellowed varnish, and discoloured overpaint
  • Application of synthetic resin varnish
  • Filling of losses in the paint layer
  • Retouching of losses using dry pigments and synthetic resin


  • Mending of tears and holes in the canvas
  • Correction of deformations in the canvas
  • Stabilisation of wooden panels
  • Lining (full or strip)


  • Removal of surface dirt
  • Replacement of missing sections of composition moulding
  • Selective or full, water or oil gilding, re-gilding and patination
  • Adaptation of frame to create a safer environment for the painting, including glazing lining of rebates and the fitting of backboards to reduce effect of environmental fluctuations
  • Non-reflective and UV filtering Museum standard glass can be fitted on request

Additional services:

  • Museum and Art Gallery collections surveys, including, if required, recommendations for emergency treatment and loan suitability
  • Surveys and recommendations for suitable storage of easel paintings, including appropriate environmental conditions
  • Protection and handling of easel paintings for transit
  • Condition surveys, treatment recommendations and estimates

Some of our recent projects:

  • St Mary the Virgin Church, Studley Royal  – Conservation of marouflaged canvas paintings
  • Retford Town Hall – Easel painting conservation
  • Castle Howard, North Yorkshire – Conservation of 18th century painting (fresco secco) by Pelligrini
  • Cusworth Hall, Doncaster – Conservation of marouflaged canvas paintings to ceiling
  • Llandaff Court, Cardiff – Conservation of 19th century marouflaged canvas paintings. New paintings on canvas produced for areas of missing design.