Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Paint for microfilm cabinets

Paint for microfilm cabinets

From: Suzanne Dodson <suzanne.dodson>
Date: Thursday, June 16, 1994
Anita Shaughnessy asked about paint for microfilm cabinets. In my
opinion it would be unwise to paint these cabinets since the off-gassing
from the paint will certainly harm the film stored in them.  The
Northeast Document Conservation Center's "Technical Leaflet" on storage
furniture includes information about baked enamel storage furniture.  It
says, in part, "until recently only baked enamel furniture was
recommended.  Constructed of steel with a baked enamel coating, this
furniture was thought to be made of chemically stable materials. . . .
Lately, however, questions have been raised about the possibility of the
baked enamel coating giving off formaldehyde and other volatiles harmful
to collections if it has not been properly baked (not long enough at
high enough temperatures).  This concern is especially serious when
collections are stored on book shelves in an area that is enclosed or
has poor air circulation, or are stored in closed furniture such as map
cases, file cabinet drawers . . . .  Because of this concern about
off-gassing, baked enamel furniture is no longer widely recommended
unless it has been properly baked. . . . Steel storage furniture with
various powder coatings appears to avoid the off-gassing problems
associated with baked enamel."  All this means that ordinary paint is
definitely not something you want to use on cabinets used to store

Suzanne Dodson

                   Conservation DistList Instance 8:2
                   Distributed: Friday, June 17, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-2-002
Received on Thursday, 16 June, 1994

[Search all CoOL documents]