Oil Painting Restoration & Repair 1-888-532-6732 Museum Quality Methods & Results

Serving Massachusetts and The Nation




Our Conservator

An art conservator and respected artist, Bruce Wood demonstrates painting techniques at art associations across New England. (Photo by Greg Gale.)

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Oil painting conservator Bruce Wood has been repairing and cleaning oil and acrylic paintings privately for over twenty-five years.  He has fine art degrees from Massachusetts College of Art (BFA) and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA).  After graduating, he worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, a major museum,  where he became acquainted with several conservation techniques.


After leaving the Art Institute of Chicago, he completed a one-year apprenticeship in color transparency retouching at Spectrum Studio in Chicago, where he learned the discipline of exact color matching and invisible image alteration.


For ten years Bruce Wood operated his own photo retouching studio in Chicago, where his accounts included Keebler, Quaker Oats, McDonalds, Jim Beam, Coors and Helene Curtis.


His entire family has been involved in the art business since The Woodshed Gallery was established by his parents James and Angelina Wood in 1968.  The gallery features fine art conservation framing and conducts exhibitions of contemporary and historical artworks.


An oil painter himself, Bruce has studied antique painting techniques, and collected nineteenth and early twentieth century oil paintings.  He has restored them and sold them at antique and fine art auctions across the country, including Christie's and Sotheby's auctioneers.



Clean Oil Paintings

The Woodshed Gallery

1243 Pond Street

Franklin, MA 02038




Hours: Tuesdays thru Fridays, 10-5, Saturdays 10-3


We are located half-way between Boston and Providence,

off route 495.


Evening and  off-hours appointments are available.

Please email or call in your request.








A Note From Bruce Wood:


Here are the answers to some questions I get quite often:


1/ I have a painting which could use cleaning, but I've heard that restoration on an oil painting or

other work may devalue the painting. Is there any truth to this?


Cleaning and restoration are two different things.  First, cleaning is a good thing.  It adds value, like polishing a diamond would.   In fact, paintings and jewelry are the only two classes of antiques which benefit from cleaning (to my knowledge.)


Restoration also is a good thing, if done to current museum standards.  Over the years, restoration has received a bad reputation because of the many unqualified and/or unskilled people calling themselves restorers. Their main fault, aside from using questionable methods, has been wholesale retouching, instead of in-painting.  Retouching generally means covering over areas of old paint with new paint.  In-painting means adding paint only where it is missing. For example if there is a scratch in the paint, a retoucher would paint over it and also paint over the adjacent areas to blend it in.  An in-painter would add paint only to the scratch, with as little overlap onto the original paint layer as possible.


2/  I have heard of using a black light to determine if color has been added to a painting which would also devalue its worth.


Here is where the difference between retouching and in-painting is critical. UV lights are a handy tool to detect repairs, but keep in mind that they are not infallible.  If the UV light shows large areas of retouching, it is possible that the painting's value would be less than a similar work in original condition.  If the light shows in-painting, or scattered small areas of repair, the value is generally not discounted (sort-of depends on how critical the damage was.)  Repairs like lining to strengthen a canvas (when done well) also do not usually detract from value.


Consider this:  Every major museum has a conservation department to restore and clean paintings.  Most, if not all of the masterpieces on display have been cleaned and re-varnished, and have some degree of invisible restoration.



So, the short answer is:  Cleaning and restoration, when done to museum standards, actually adds value to an oil painting.


I hope this helps your future art-care decisions.     -Bruce



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Clean Oil Paintings is located at The Woodshed Gallery, 1243 Pond Street, Franklin MA 02038 

Hours: Tuesdays thru Fridays, 10-5, Saturdays 10-3

Appointments are available at other times.

Tel: 1-508-533-6277  or Toll Free (USA): 1-888-532-6732



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Toll Free (USA): 1-888-532-6732