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ASK MRS. BIDDINGTONS Advice on Restoring and Preserving Art & Antiques
Dear Mrs. Biddington,
My Aunt Maud thinks the stairway to heaven is spray-painted gold. Very few decorative objects escape her well-aimed index finger.

This past winter she pre-bequeathed me a vase that closely resembled a piece of Roseville pottery. However, since then she needed the vase to be gold for an afternoon tea party and spray-painted it accordingly.

On my last visit, she insisted I take the vase home with me. Is there anything I can do to remove the paint?

Hopefully yours,
Charles Craig

Dear Charles,
What a forbearing nephew you are! There is something of the gift-horse to your early bequest.

A spray-painting mania appears to be afoot in the land. Because of this phenomenon, a product has been developed to combat the specific problem:

Graffiti remover, available at your local hardware store, should induce the gold paint to fall from the vase. (It is sold in small or large quantities and in various brands.) Follow the instructions on the label, and your vase should be returned to its former glory.

Augusta Biddington

Dear Mrs. Biddington,
I was so happy to read your solution to the gold spray-paint problem.

My grandfather "bronzed" our family branding irons and other old ranching tools. I am relieved to learn that the process might be reversible.

Many thanks,
SueBeth Williams

Dear Mrs. Biddington,
As a weekend project, my first husband was assigned the task of polishing my treasured brass bed. I returned home to discover that--frustrated by the extensive polishing required--he had spray-painted it gold.

Had I known about the graffiti remover perhaps our marriage might have... Then, again, probably not.

Eugenia Forrest

Ask Mrs. Biddington Archives:
Ask Mrs. B--Framing and Hanging Paintings
Ask Mrs. B--Cleaning Paintings & Works on Paper
Ask Mrs. B--Framing Prints & Works on Paper
Ask Mrs. B--Lace Restoration
Ask Mrs. B--Lace Cleaning
Ask Mrs. B--Liquidating an Estate
Ask Mrs. B--Humidity & Fine Objects
Ask Mrs. B--Roseville and Removing Spray Paint
Ask Mrs. B--Care of Doll Hair


The thrill of the auction is over--for the moment. With art & antiques, pleasure also comes from acquiring the specialized knowledge involved in their preservation. Even experienced collectors may not know exactly how to care for fine art. At BIDDINGTON'S, upmarket, online art auctions & art gallery, our in-house oracle on fine art preservation and restoration procedures is Augusta Biddington. Mrs. Biddington is an old hand at old things. Unfortunately, This archived feature was first published in 1998. Mrs. Biddington is no longer able to provide answers to specific questions.

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