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Subject: Varnish


From: Vera Espinola <icona>
Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2000
Monique Lempereur <mlempereur [at] swing__be> writes

>I'm cleaning an old icon with surgical spirit. This is an icon of
>the 19th century from Ukraine. I must varnish this icon. Can
>somebody tell me what kind of varnish is the best for this?

I would like to suggest B-72 (an ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in
ethanol as a varnish for the 19th century icon.  Make about a 5%
solution, taking care not to produce a glossy surface, as the result
should be matte, but with a slight, warm "glow". The B-72 is
reversible by using the same solvent.Of course, test the product
first in an inconspicuous area before varnishing the icon.
Traditionally, icons were coated with "maslo", usually a linseed
oil (sometimes mixed with a resin), to give the icon a warm glow.
Unfortunately, the linseed oil darkened after about 80 years, often
producing a very dark surface. The B-72 will not reproduce this warm
appearance, but will protect the colors of the icon. If I can help
in any way, please contact me

Vera Espinola-Beery, M.A. icon conservator

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:62
                  Distributed: Wednesday, June 7, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-62-002
Received on Tuesday, 6 June, 2000

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