DIY Art Care 101: How To Remove Mold From Canvas Painting

Molds are everywhere, and one of the worst spots they can be is things that complicate cleaning. Do you need to know how to remove mold from canvas painting, which is one of those things exactly?

Whether oil, water-based, or acrylic, all mediums used in painting creates art that holds personal value. It can be something you fancied from the shop, something you acquired from an auction, something that someone dear made for you, or even a piece you created yourself.

how to remove mold from canvas painting

Paintings signify a particular emotion and relationship that each of us has, which is why we can go to certain lengths to make sure they retain their beauty through time. Such care goes for each piece, whether they’re hanging in our living room or resting in your storage, which makes it unacceptable to have molds growing on them.


Steps For Removing Mold On Canvas Painting

While molds are commonly found on the frame of paintings, especially when made of wood, they can also multiply on the cloth your painting resides — the canvas. If the latter case of mold infestation is the one that you have right now, then here are the steps you can use to remove them effectively:


Step #1. Ready a working table and dry the painting

To start, you need to have an available working table where you can lay the painting over when you’re cleaning. Choose something that can hold the whole painting and its frame so that you can work properly and avoid denting on the piece.

You can also take this chance to gather all necessary and appropriate tools, including a sable brush, vacuum, cleaning solution, swab, and spray bottle. Also, grab yourself a mask and a pair of gloves to protect yourself from the mold.

Meanwhile, it would be best to put out the painting on something flat outside so it can dry in the sun. Unlike other mold removal processes, your priority in this one places protecting the canvas and painting highly above others, and removing excess water does that.

Sunlight is written as one of the things that kill mold, so this deals you with two favorable things. If your medium is sensitive to the sun or heat, though, you should skip this part.


Step #2. Dust off the painting

After drying the painting and setting up your area, you can now take the sable brush and gently brush off the mold and its spores from the painting. Exposure to the sun should turn the molds into crisp flakes and dust, which should come off with gentle strokes.

After you’ve brushed off the piece’s entire surface, use compressed air to blow off any remaining molds, then vacuum 2-3 inches from the painting. This should suck all dust off to avoid returning them or transferring into anything in your vicinity.


Step #3. Test out a cleaning solution, then apply it

After dusting the painting, you can check out some solutions that can be safely applied according to the medium or paint used on the canvas to kill molds. Depending on the paint used, you can use specific concentrations of alcohol, bleach, or other commercial mold-killing products.

Use the swab to test out the reaction of your chosen cleaning solution on an inconceivable part of the painting. If there is no concerning effect after some time, then you can spray it on the painting.

We recommend checking the frames for mold infestation as well. You can detach the painting first to see underneath, but if the mold has been on the canvas for a long time, it is better to change it.


Step #4. Dry the canvas painting

After cleaning, return the painting to its frame. Make sure you fasten it well enough, then set the artwork out to dry under sunlight again until all the moisture is gone.

Take measures to keep it dry even if you’re storing your piece; here’s an article on how to mold proof a basement, if you’re going to place the painting there.


Why does mold grow on canvas?

Mold growth on canvas is commonly caused by excessive moisture. This can either come from a room with too high humidity, meaning there’s a more significant amount of water vapor in the air that can get absorbed and condensed in the canvas.

Canvas is usually made of natural fiber and, combined with the previously mentioned moisture, creates a cozy spot for mold to grow. While molds don’t just grow from thin air, having the said environment already favors them.

Mold spores would have to be carried and landed on those moist canvases for the infestation to start, so if the surrounding has those spores too, it becomes problematic. Here’s how to remove mold from wallpaper if you’ve found some in the surrounding.


What kills mold grown on paint?

Properly diluted bleach can kill molds on paint, so does alcohol. Vinegar can also kill mold, but it usually destroys paint, so you shouldn’t use it on your painting.

Different paints use different solvents to carry the pigments, so you have to be careful not to mix them with something that will destroy the balance.



Canvas art is extremely attractive, and knowing how to remove mold from canvas painting will go a long way to protect them. After all, maintenance is just the key to lasting beauty and craft.

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