This expansion and contraction of materials can cause further damage. Blotting paper (or even kitchen paper) can be inserted between the canvas and the stretcher bars. As the wood in the bars dries slowly, it will no longer introduce moisture into the canvas when the paper is added. Removing stains from works of art on paper is an extremely complex process and how you do it depends on paper, ink, printing process, assembly and much more.
The best thing you can do is leave the footprints alone if you don't want to do them serious harm. Bleach or hydrogen peroxide will deteriorate the paper if not used in the correct dilution and then thoroughly washed. Washing requires extensive testing to ensure that the process does not change paper and ink, and these tests require training not only in art, but also in preservation and chemistry. The peeling paint will stabilize and re-adhere to the canvas.
The layers of flake paint can be consolidated in various ways, depending on the individual needs of the paint. The most commonly used animal tails for consolidation are fish tail and rabbit fur tail. While my experience running a maintenance business meant I knew how to deal with the house, I had no experience handling water-damaged artwork. The Oliver Brothers website has more tips on how to dry books, photographs and more, so you may want to check out his article on Water Damaged Art.
The damage caused by water sounds significant, however, it can be successfully counteracted with preservation treatments so you can continue to enjoy your painting. My challenge was to deal with water-damaged works of art that were lying on the ground in several inches of water. The following is a summary action plan to reduce the immediate effects of water damage on paints. Now that the painting is finished, the contrast before and after the restoration is striking; the damage has been treated without a trace and the vibrancy of the revived colors has been restored.
In this case, water has touched the paint at some point over the years, and additional damage has required the need for restoration. Now that your surface is clean, protected from future water damage, and primed, you're ready to paint and give your wall the much-needed color. Because, for most paints, exposure to water can cause immediate damage and predispose the artwork to short-term or long-term damage, every precaution should be taken to eliminate this hazard.
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