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Subject: Vinyl wall covering

Vinyl wall covering

From: Phillip Seitz <artifact>
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
I'm writing in my role as a hapless curator seeking reassurance.

Our site has a delightful 1959 kitchen complete with robin's-egg
blue cabinets, glossy yellow trim, and vintage yellow vinyl wall
covering. The latter is paper-backed vinyl sheeting with a
flattened, woven grass texture, and probably either Vicrtex or
Vinyl-Tex.  Alas since 1972 the kitchen has continued to provide
light service to one of our caretakers, and over the years has
accumulated various spots and lots of grime. We'd like to clean it.

I've tried spot tests of several cleaning agents on the vinyl,
including (from least to most effective): mineral spirits, water,
water with mild soap, alcohol, and acetone.  Acetone appears to be
by far the best--particularly so on decades-old grease and scotch
tapes marks. While the results seem secure--nothing melted,
experienced a noticeable texture change, or turned horrible
colors--I'd prefer to solicit more chemically informed opinion
before moving forward.  Any comments or suggestions?

Phillip R. Seitz
Curator of History
Cliveden of the National Trust, Inc.
6401 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19144
Fax: 215-438-2892

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:1
                   Distributed: Friday, June 14, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-1-014
Received on Thursday, 13 June, 2002

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