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Subject: Cat urine on unprimed color-field painting

Cat urine on unprimed color-field painting

From: Robert Lodge <mckaylodge<-at->
Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Steven Prins <sprins1102<-a t->aol< . >com> writes

>I have received in my studio for treatment a color-field painting on
>unprimed canvas that has been marked with urine by a male cat.  I am
>wondering if anyone on the list has recent references regarding
>feline urine composition and chemistry, as well as
>conservation-appropriate procedures and formulae for its removal
>from unprimed canvas? Thanks in advance for any references and/or

I do not have knowledge of the severity of any stain or odor in the
mentiones art work. It may be that the treatment will have to be
full aqueous cleaning as was developed by Margaret Watherston in New
York City for the removal of serious staining in the raw cotton duck
canvas of Color Field paintings. In my experience as an assistant
working with her in the late 1970's one aqueous "washing" treatment
causes no alteration of the artwork and can be effective in removing
a stain. I can provide details of the methods of her procedures.

To my knowledge, the most effective agents for removing cat urine
odor from fabrics and carpets is a sequence of aqueous cleanings
using vinegar water for the ammonia smell first followed with borax
in water. Use of alkaline detergents may be needed in the procedure
for removing the stain. Be aware that alkalinity of detergents or
ammonia tends to yellow cotton duck canvas but the effect can be
reversed on exposure to slightly acidic water followed by a
neutralization rinse--a practice once common in the laundry for

Robert G. Lodge, President
McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, inc.
at the Ohio Conservation Center
10915 Pyle South Amherst Road
Oberlin Ohio 44074

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:15
               Distributed: Saturday, September 28, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-15-001
Received on Wednesday, 25 September, 2013

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