Overpaint Removal from Polychrome Wood Artwork: Lithuanian Practice in the European Context


  • Aušrinė Dambrauskaitė Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg, Netherlands




polychrome wood, overpaint remova, methods, conservation


This paper focuses on alternative options regarding the often highly time-consuming treatments to overpaint removal from wooden polychrome objects used in Lithuanian conservation practice. It aims to highlight the variety of approaches used throughout the European region. Based on the case study analysis, the four types of approaches that have been identified throughout the European region are mechanical, solvent, biological, and physical. The four methods found in Lithuanian conservation practice are mechanical ablation with a scalpel, organic solvent-soaked compress action followed by scalpel ablation, organic solvent-soaked swab action, and application of commercial paint strippers (commercial organogels). Five more methods that are used abroad employ self-modelled organogels, hydrogels, enzymes, heat, and laser radiation. The further analysis helped determine twelve removal systems based on the methods mentioned above. These are illustrated in the flowchart, providing information on each process step by step, which can serve as an aid when designing a case-specific approach. Subsequently, the author of this paper presents an application of a diversified removal system regarding multiple campaigns of overpainting on a wooden polychrome reliquary.

Author Biography

Aušrinė Dambrauskaitė, Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg, Netherlands

is a postgraduate of Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Restoration Department with a specialization in polychrome wood sculpture. She is now a sculpture and painted objects conservation fellow at Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) in Maastricht, the Netherlands.




How to Cite

Dambrauskaitė, A. (2023). Overpaint Removal from Polychrome Wood Artwork: Lithuanian Practice in the European Context. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (108), 101–125. https://doi.org/10.37522/aaav.108.2023.151