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Fading of Prints and Artwork: Can it Be Restored?
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Fading of Prints and Artwork: Can it Be Restored?

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An art conservator and art appraiser answer this question and if whether a restored faded item is worth anything.

An art conservator and art appraiser answer this question and if whether a restored faded item is worth anything.

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  • 1. Regarding faded prints and paintings, here is a quick answer to a question Iget asked often:By Scott M. Haskins, Art ConservatorI just had a chat with an art owner who asked me the following:“We inherited three serigraphs (prints) which have become faded due to UV exposure. Is there any artrestoration technique to bring back the colors which can be performed? Any suggestions?Thanks,”AdamHere is my answer:Sorry, Adam, fading is an irreversible, permanent process that changes the nature of the colors and thebinders or resins that hold the pigments of the paint together.Btw, fading of pigments is not only due to ultraviolet rays that are found in the light of day, fluorescentlights or in the tungsten (filament) light. Fading is also caused by the sheer quantity of brightness of light.So, in other words, if you filter out ALL the UV rays, you can still get some fading, though a lot less. I’vedone tests on this in our lab and seen it happen.Though the colors cannot be restored to their original appearance, some spray treatments of faded paintand inks with resins can intensify the color that remains, however.I asked esteemed British expatriate, certified art appraiser, Richard Holgate what would happen to thevalue of a work of art (including prints) if you repainted the faded colors to give them back some “pop.” Hesaid, “If you are thinking that maybe the faded colors could be repainted, consider that the value could goto $zero!”Art conservation – restoration questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121See numerous short interesting art conservation - restoration videos on YouTube at “bestartdoc” channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/bestartdoc?feature=mhee Please leave comments and give the videos aTHUMBS UP!Go to http://www.fineartconservationlab.com for a quick tour of a painting conservation lab.   These  vegetables  in  a  farmer’s  field  were  faded  almost  beyond  recognition.