Before & After: Art Makeover (also, how to clean art with bread!)

Art Makeover - After | All Sorts of Pretty

Art Makeover Before & After | All Sorts of Pretty

I got this great parrot art print when we were helping clean out Parker’s grandparent’s house and thought it was really cool.  Needed a little TLC, but otherwise I thought it would be a really neat piece to have.

Art Makeover Before  | All Sorts of Pretty

It wasn’t horrible before, but it needed cleaning (it’s from the fifties or sixties and there’s no telling if or when it had last been cleaned) and I thought the great colors might pop more if the frame was painted a lighter color.

Art Makeover - Materials | All Sorts of Pretty

Yes, that’s french bread you see there!  It works to help clean paintings – any doughy bread that you can break off in to big enough pieces you can use like a sponge will work.

Art Makeover - Process | All Sorts of Pretty

I love using wrapping paper as a drop cloth  by the way.  I don’t really use anything but kraft or butcher paper for wrapping presents anymore so all my old, colorful wrapping paper has been delegated to crafting purposes.  It’s so easy to just roll out and then roll back up if it can be reused.  For this project, I rolled out a length to spray paint the frame over and cut a square to protect the painting.

I made sure that this painting wasn’t valuable (quick google search let me know it was only worth about $100 in pristine condition, which this is not) and taped a square of paper to it so I could easily spray paint the frame.

I used a spray primer first since the surface was kind of slick, then gave it two good coats of a warm white.

Clean Art with Bread! | All Sorts of Pretty

The fun (and weird!) part of the whole thing is using the bread to clean the painting.  I had read that this works because it absorbs the dust, but doesn’t leave any kind of residue behind and doesn’t have anything harmful in it to cause damage to the painting. I was shocked at how well it worked!

It gets crumbly, but just shake it off when you’re done.

Art Makeover - After | All Sorts of Pretty

And there you have it!  A quick and easy project that gave my bird a little facelift and is a fun addition to our home.  And it only cost $1.79 for the bread since I had the spray paint and the painting was free.  Not bad!

What do you think?  Do you like my parrot?  :)

8 Responses to “Before & After: Art Makeover (also, how to clean art with bread!)”

  1. Laura Dennison

    Get outta town! Love the wrapping paper idea and never would have thought of the bread trick. That is too cool.

  2. Bob Jones

    Hi Katy,
    I’m off to purchase some doughy bread and I’ll give it a go this evening. Looking forward to seeing if this works!

  3. Helene

    I tend to believe that this method works. We used bread to clean wallpaper 60+ years ago!!! Just make sure there are no issues with flaking, cracking paint or a brittle canvas.

  4. dflickin

    This works! I thought my art poster print was ruined after noticing that smudgy areas had appeared in the white border area over time (probably grease or dust from hanging on my kitchen wall). Rubbing the broken slice of bread from the bread wrapper took all of the smudges off immediately! What a great find. Thanks.


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