No announcement yet.

Clean it and Fix it.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Clean it and Fix it.

    I am not a wood carver, but my father was. I have one of his that I would like to clean and fix.
    It is the Great Seal of the US, The Pieces are carved in pine. Painted and glued.
    Originally made 1973-74. It has been in storage for 10 years.
    It has mold on the surfaces that I will need to clean and some missing pieces that I will need to recreate (Carve?)
    It is 29 inches in Diameter, On 3/4 inch plywood.
    So first things first...What should I clean it with??

    Thanks Ward.
    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 5 photos.

  • #2
    Hi Ward

    Your dad made a fine job of that piece of work I hope you manage to restore it to its former glory. I think there are better guys than me to advise on how best to go about the restoration but i will give it a go.

    You could carve another foot using the remaining one as a pattern and re-fit the arrows to it. Some super glue would take care of the broken leaf.

    I would find a mould killer from a hardware store ( check that it will not ruin the paint) and give it a light wash with that followed by luke warm soapy water. I would use a fine paint brush to wash it with as you dont want to put a lot of pressure on any of it or you could damage it or ruin the paint. I would dry it off by lightly patting it with an absorbant cloth. And perhaps pop it in front of a heater to make sure you get the last of it without getting it overly warm. Then you can touch up the paint where required.

    That's what I would do if it were mine. Whatever you do take care with it that is a nice piece. Hope this helps.


    • #3
      I’m with Glenn I would go with a commercial product on this one. I think for most of us bleach is the go to for mold but I think a hydrogen peroxide based product maybe a better choice. There are some natural plant based products that kill mold but don’t remove the stains. Sadly without knowing what paint was used it is hard to know how it will respond to any product. So you should be prepared to address areas that will need repainted.


      • #4
        Wood cleaning art and repairs to look perfect need to be done by a professional in the field. But it is extremely costly. If you do it yourself use methods that can be corrected and not permanent. Holes can be filled with dental tools or picks, dark wood filler, and touches of paint. Yes if you are a good woodcarver you can recarve areas...but it will be hard to match the original work and old-time paint job.

        This is how I clean old wood art. One, not use any chemicals on old painted surfaces...why the chemicals will often eat the paint and finish surface. In fact, I see people totally eat out the finish and the painted areas into a total mess cleaning old artwork like this, destroying the finish into a nice mess that is total hell to clean and repair. I have seen work totally destroyed by using chemicals on painted surfaces. Windex is another no, no..... Clorox and mold cleaners are a no, no... on old wood carvings. Get a toothbrush and soap (Dawn dish soap is a good one), clean small areas at times by careful scrubbing out dirt and molded areas, using a soft towel or paper towels to mop up the scrubbed areas. Finish by washing the area with water and again mop up moisture. But in place where it will dry fast, prefer a fan, or outside in sun. If you have scrub well and mold is still there bright and got another problem contact me.

        For those broken-off pieces, the first thing is to find out where they go and actually how they fit, practice fitting them on the right spot, when you got it, go clean them using the method above.

        Buy a matching hobby acrylic paint, find one for the arrow and get a slim liner brush. When the work is dry, practice placement again, and then glue them slowly and carefully. When the glue is dry... Touch up with paint the pop off areas and broken cracks with water down not put it on thick...put several thin coats drying each time.

        Is he missing the toes on the other foot, could try to carve them but it will be a lot of work to get it to look right....if it were me I leave it alone perhaps or you can try to carve it. Another thought is to get some Sculpey Clay using a brown clay...which can be formed to shape, fitted easy, to arrow the can be baked on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or cardstock from any craft store. This can be painted to color, and attached to arrows if you like the finished product.

        Just note repair work takes time and patience...
        . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


        • #5
          I can see why you want to refurbish this fine carving. I have no advice, just wishing you the best of luck with it.
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            How about Murphy's wood soap?