Art Restoration


Fine Art Restoration & Conservation

Stephan Welz & Co have teamed up with specialist fine art restorer and conservationist, Ekkehard Hans, German Conservator (M.A. univ.), specialising in the restoration of paintings on canvas and wooden objects, from old Egyptian, late medieval, baroque up to contemporary art objects.

 “Professional Conservators alone possess the expertise to preserve cultural heritage in a way that retains the integrity of the object, including its historical significance, context, and aesthetic or visual aspects.”

This new partnership offers the following service and benefits to our clients.

- Restoration includes the removal of dirt and dust, which reduces the readability of the artist's expression and not at least reacts under circumstances with the paint layer or varnish.

The removal of dust and dirt is an important conservation measure, which should be done by a professional conservator in order to prevent abrasion and further damages.

The understanding and knowledge of a variety of forms of dirt enable the specific solution and removal of dirt.

- Closing of holes and tears is not only an aesthetic problem but should be done to prevent in the long run the deterioration and irreversible damage of the support and paint layer because the change of conditions (tension and humidity lead to an apart development of intact and damaged regions.

- A bulged or too loose hanging (slack) canvas will lead in the long run to deformation and damage of canvas and paint layer. Reasonable cautious stretching and smoothing out can prevent that.

- All varnishes change with time and become either dark and brownish/ yellowish or milky and lose flexibility and transparency. 

In such cases, varnishes or coatings can be removed to re-establish the original appearance. Knowledge of material, experience, accuracy, and careful approach is necessary for that treatment.

Major problems cause unsoluble ( Oil and certain Ketone ) varnishes or generally varnishes with the same solubility parameters as the paint layer.

- Flaking or loose and upstanding paint patches mean a loss of the original paint layer and should be treated as fast as possible. Flaking in small areas indicates mostly a major adhesion problem in much bigger regions of the painting, although they might not be easily visible yet.

- Mold or Fungus infestation is related to a relatively high RLF ( over 70% RLF) or even wet conditions (water damage). 

It becomes most visible by forming cotton-like Mycelium or dark stains.

Fungus infestation becomes a direct threat to the artwork because the paint and support material like cellulosis, proteins, and esters are a basis for the nourishment of fungus.

Low ventilation and the creation of a microclimate ( mainly works in a glass crate e.g.), the insufficient distance between painting and wall additionally favours the growth of mold.

Our specialists

Ekkehard Hans -

Cape Town | Suzanne Duncan - 

Johannesburg | Alexia Ferreira -

Johannesburg | Robyn Woolley - 


Contact Us