As a first step, you can try to prise off the flecks of paint with your fingernail or a pointed wooden stick. You could use a kebab stick, for example. If the paint is a bit brittle, it may just pop off. But be careful not to scrape too hard as you might scratch the surface. Don’t use metal or anything harder, as there’s too much risk of marks and scratches.

You can also try using some solvent on a cotton bud, either acetone or white spirit. Do a small test in an area of the bronze that isn’t visible – this is because the solvent might dissolve a surface treatment that you couldn’t see with the naked eye. Sometimes bronzes are treated with wax or a thin layer of varnish, for example, and if these are softened by the solvent, patches will appear on the bronze surface. If you don’t see any changes on the surface or on the cotton bud after your test, you can try to remove the paint flecks using this method.

Kind regards from Maren, objects conservator