Inpainting

• This element of the restoration process requires the touch of an artist. While the other aspects of restoration can be achieved by technique and experience, inpainting must be done by someone who is familiar with mixing and blending oils and duplicating the style of the original artist who created the piece in the first place. Some painting styles are identifiable but many are not, such as those developed by artists not trained in a particular method or school or whose work was not popularly replicated. It takes someone who is skilled and experienced in a variety of media to restore the integrity of a work of art to its original form.
  
• All this is time-consuming. After all cleaning and repairs are completed, a fresh coat of varnish is applied to seal the original painting (no new paint will touch the original). Then inpainting begins. Each application of oil paint must take time to dry and season before more paint can be applied. A painting restored by a non-artist will have a tendency to appear awkward, inconsistent, or flawed. Even if it has been cleaned and repaired, the damaged portion may still look defective. It can take as much time, creativity and inspiration to replicate an original piece back to its initial form as it might to create an entirely new painting from scratch on an empty canvas. When the inpainting process is done, one or more coats of Damar varnish are applied to the finished restoration.