Restoring Pencil Drawings and Charcoal Sketches

Pencil drawings and charcoal sketches can be damaged in ways that make them difficult to restore. Art restoration professionals can help you safely restore pencil drawings and charcoal sketches. This is a brief overview of how these professionals may help you.


The first step is to have the piece appraised. The restorer will examine the artwork to establish the extent of any damage. You can take the art to them or for those interested in restoring pencil drawings and charcoal sketches. They will also do on-site appraisals.


First, they will stabilise the piece by adding material such as backing boards, acid-free paper and cotton cloths.

Washing or brushing

Next, they will determine the best way to remove the damage. Some pencil drawings and charcoal sketches can be washed; others must be cleaned with a brush or cotton swabs. For instance, if the water damage was caused by a leaky roof above, brushing would not work. Water would spread out further and cause more damage.


Even after cleaning, some portions of the piece may still be damaged. However, by using a variety of restoration techniques, professionals will restore your drawing or sketch. They will re-attach any cut or torn pieces of the drawing or sketch and clean it thoroughly to remove dirt, fingerprints and other stains that may have been added using a safe but effective method. They will use non-toxic cleaning materials such as non-acetone nail polish remover or artists' turpentine on charcoal sketches. Many of the restoration materials used are not only "green" but also specifically manufactured for art restoration professionals and are of archival quality (meaning that they can be safely stored in a library without fear of deterioration).


They will retouch any areas that cannot be cleaned. They will inspect the piece carefully to ensure that they have not gone too far in their efforts and have not changed the look of the piece for better or worse. Finally, the restorer will then spray an adhesive over the surface of the piece to fix the pencil or charcoal in place.

Art restoration professionals are able to provide conservation and preservation services for works of art such as sculptures, paintings, sketches, and other pieces. If you are curious about your damaged pencil drawings and charcoal sketches or would like to learn more about how art restoration professionals can help you restore them, you should make contact today.