Restoration Artist

Help bring back the original look and splendor of a piece of art.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Restoration Artists do?

A Restoration Artist polishes up artwork to enhance its overall appearance. This could involve cleaning paintings, re-plastering nicks in sculptures, or enhancing old film so it is less scratchy and blurry. Whichever medium you work in, your goal as a Restoration Artist is to restore a piece of art to or beyond its original brilliance and shine.

The daily tasks of a Restoration Artist involve identifying the materials present in a piece of artwork, matching those materials exactly, and repairing the piece in accordance with its genre, colors, shape, and structural integrity. On the whole your client should look at a finished piece and be unable to tell what parts you have touched.

Although this work is very similar to that of an Art Conservator, there are subtle and growing differences between the two fields. Primarily that you are more concerned with making a work appear unblemished, while an Art Conservator strives to do this but their focus is on ensuring that any restoration work they do can be reversed.

The practical difference between these two approaches boils down to value: Art Conservators work on pieces of historical value, whose composition is as important as their appearance. It is a more academic path that requires advanced study of art history and theory. You, on the other hand, work on the other 90% of artwork in the world.

So if each profession is working on an oil painting, you might use oil paints to patch up tarnished areas, while a Conservator would use a tint or varnish that could be removed in the future.


Should I be a Restoration Artist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Art Restorer, Fashion Artist, Fresco Artist, Painting Restorer, Reproduction Artist

    How to become a Restoration Artist

    Restoration Artists often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:9gooei&chl=no+college+%2838%25%29|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2825%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,38,38
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