Housekeeping Guidelines - excerpts from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
After carefully examining your paintings for loose or flaking paint, dust them every four to six months. Feather dusters can scratch or snag on paintings. Instead use a soft bristle brush, such as a white-bristle Japanese-type, sable (such as a typical makeup brush), or badger-hair brushes (called “blenders” and used for faux finishes). Never try to clean a painting yourself or use any liquid or commercial cleaners on a painted surface. Commercial preparations can cause irreparable damage to the fragile layers of a painting. Avoid touching the surface of paintings with your fingers. The natural oils in your skin can also cause damage or leave marks that may appear later. Avoid using pesticides, foggers, air fresheners, or furniture sprays near artworks. Remove paintings from a room before plastering, painting, or steam-cleaning carpets or wallpaper. Return the artworks only when the walls and floors are completely dry.
When to consult a conservator
If your painting requires special intervention, you should contact a paintings conservator. They will give you advice about the safest means by which to conserve and restore your special items.
The recommendations in this document are intended for guidance only. For the full article please visit: http://www.conservation-us.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=632