Retouching paintings without ruining them

I have this painting that have these white dots/scratches that need to be fixed. My experience with retouching only these small parts is that when I try to match the original color I could never do so…when the painting is wet It seems like I´m doing so, but as soon as the painting is dry it shows one color/value different from each other. I had better success painting the whole background or foreground but for a scracth like this it might need more than one layer.

What do you think? How do you fix tiny scratches like this without ruining/altering the painting?


1 Like

I usually oil out the surface, this brings back a semblance of what it is when wet, and it’s easier to match the color, That said, I also usually go in stages with a layer or two over the spot, you also have to inpaint the spot, I go darker otherwise the white shines out and makes the color brighter. Watch the Baumgartener Restoration channel on You Tube…. I’ve learned a lot from that, you can skip to the parts where he’s repainting lost areas….he uses a special restorative non oil paint that is reversible but you can learn some of the things he does and adapt. Here is a link to one just to get you there Beauty and Brawn Part 2 - YouTube


Thank you, Colleen for your and kind and helpful reply! I repainted the whole background and foreground, and managed to hide the blemishes using thicker applications of paint. I will try to experiment the method you have suggested me and just try to work and match just one small area of the panting.

I also want to thank you for sending me that video link, it´s so interesting and much to learn about how conservators restore and match different parts of the painting. I´m definately a new fan of that conservator channel! Thanks so much!!!

1 Like