Removing Mold From A Painting

received an email earlier today from Dr. Rooma of Singapore. I don’t have experience removing mold from a painting, but if you have found a way, let me know and we’ll publish it.

Hi Darrell,

I had a query and I hope you will be able to help me out with it.

I stay in Singapore. It being an island, the climate is always full of moisture and very humid. Off late I have noticed moulds grow on my paintings!! Can you suggest ways of preventing that? What should I do about the paintings which already have white stuff growing on them?

I don’t varnish my paintings…… will varnishing help in this case?

Hope to recieve your reply soon. 🙂

Thanks and have a nice day!

Regards,
Rooma.

lynn10 said,

While I don’t have any experience in this, I wonder if a MARINE varnish would do the trick since it’s made for boats, things around water, etc. Might be worth a try anyway.

Kathleen said,

The first issue is to stop the current mold from growing without damaging the painting. This can be accomplished by drying the mold either through placing the painting in a room with a dehumidifier, or, place the painting in a car trunk. Once the mold is dry, you will be able to tell that it flakes or cracks, you are ready to remove it.

To remove the majority of the dried mold, try blowing cool air from a hairdryer or fan. Use a very soft brush to gently remove the remaining mold. It is important to use a very gentle touch so that you do not remove paint.

For the experimentation of it, I tried applying white vinegar (a natural mold-bacteria fighter) directly to a practice painting. There was no apparent affect. However, I do not know if there would be any unforeseen long-term damage.

Once this is accomplished, you may need to apply an oil or sealer over the painting.

Good luck!

Kathleen