Tim Dolby offers a personised Art Restoration service
wherever you are in the world

Tim Dolby offers a personalised service for the restoration and conservation of oil and watercolour paintings, antique objets d’art, miniatures, picture frames and hand painted murals.

If the artwork cannot be shipped to Tim’s studio in Dorking, Surrey, UK, he sometimes travels to carry out the full restoration service on site.

Whether repairing a damaged painting or antique, or restoring a treasured work of art to its original condition, every project is personally restored by Tim to ensure the best possible results.

Restoration Techniques


Over time the natural resins used in traditional artist’s varnish become stained by environmental grime. Dust and dirt dulls the overall colour of the painting. Tobacco smoke causes a yellow tinge. Soot and vehicle fumes can also collect on painted surfaces.

These pollutants combine to drastically reduce the vibrancy, detail and quality of a painting. With careful cleaning, they can be removed and the original colour of the artwork brought back to life.

Canvas replacement

A stretched canvas can weaken over time and suffer damage from humidity and heat variation, as well as mould growth. This can make the painting brittle, cracked and creased from its stretcher support and increases its susceptibility to being torn, dented or holed.

Such weakened or damaged canvases can be relined with another canvas to support the back of the painting, with the old linings removed along with any old glues. This process can require many stages, depending on the level of damage.

A simple tear or hole can be pre-welded or filled; a severely cracked canvas requires a special process to be applied before the lining is replaced, in order to retain the original texture of the surface. The painting is then lined with either cotton or linen.

For paintings with a signature or inscription on the reverse, a transparent liner can be used so that the inscription remains visible.

Antique frame repair

The ornate carved surfaces of antique frames can easily chip off or, at the very least, collect dust and soot from open fires and candles. These discolouring pollutants can be cleaned off and any missing pieces of the moulding replicated by taking a mould from a part of the frame that’s intact and forming a new piece.

The repair is then concealed by regilding with 23¾ carat gold or silver leaf and then toned to match the existing patina.

It’s also important to ensure that the frame provides the correct structural support for the canvas.

"Tim Dolby was recommended to me as one of the best British restorers for valuable oil paintings in the UK. The work he carried out on one of our most valuable family heirlooms revealed and enhanced my paintings beyond imagination. Tim is also an artist in his own right and produces the most exquisite and highly collectable works."

Charlotte Redden, private client, Surrey, UK