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Subject: Painting on hardboard

Painting on hardboard

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh<-at->
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009
Bettina Ebert <be [at] asiarta__org> writes

>I am currently attempting to surface clean a painting on hardboard.
>The paint used is possibly oil, and is applied on the textured rough
>surface of the board rather than the smooth side.

I recently had an object with a thick layer of dried mud over very
water-soluble colors.  I found that if I added enough ethanol to
water (about half), I could soften the mud without removing the
color.  I admit it wasn't 100%--every once in a while, a little
color came off.  But when something is unviewable without treatment,
it is a legitimate trade-off.

If the surface is friable--that is, if paint is actually rubbing off
rather than being dissolved off (which is sometimes a difficult
distinction to make) cleaning through wet-strength paper can help.

If the debris in the little cracks can  be wicked up, you might want
to try wetting it and then pushing a ripped edge of blotter or
tissue wrapped around the edge of a thin spatula into the crack to
soak it up.  If the efflorescence is easily water-soluble, this may

If the painting is going to be varnished, the wetting-up of the
colors might eliminate the dreary grayness.

Good luck.  Often, brainstorming with other people can create a
solution--try everything you can possible think of, whether you
think it will work or not.

Barbara Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:12
                 Distributed: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-23-12-004
Received on Thursday, 8 October, 2009

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