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

Subject: Polyester film as painting support

Polyester film as painting support

From: Karlie Weltman <kmwz<-a>
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2014
I am a recent graduate in the History of Art from the University of
Michigan.  I also study classical contemporary oil painting.
Recently, I was recommended to use Mylar (drafting film) as a
support for oil painting studies but not necessarily more important
work.  I have experimented with it and it is a great surface and
seems to handle the paint quite well.

However, upon a brief search on the Internet, while the material
itself is considered archival for architectural drawings, etc., here
seems to be no real consensus of its archival status as an oil
painting support.

Since I have no advanced background in material
chemistry/engineering or conservation science, I am hoping to
receive insight regarding the "curing" of the oil paint over time
upon the Mylar (synthetic polymer surface).  It has been aptly
pointed out to me, that one option might be best to treat a
completed work on Mylar as a drawing/work on paper, for display and
to protect it over time.

My instinct is that the oil colors might dull over time and I am
skeptical that structurally it has the capacity to fortify a long
term bond with the oil as it oxidizes and become more rigid over
time.  However, acrylic primers and pva sizing (in place of the
traditional rabbit skin glue) are used often these days for oil
supports, and if I am not mistaken, can be labeled and sold as
"archival", so I am not sure if my skepticism is is warranted.
However, the concerns of other artists on the Internet were that the
paint might actually flake/crack off within as soon as decade.

Again, I have tried it, and the oil paints handles well on it, but I
am still unsure about it lasting but I have no scientific reason one
way or another.

If someone has any ideas regarding using the Mylar as a painting
substrate and insight as to how it might behave over time, I would
really appreciate it.

K. Weltman

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:11
                  Distributed: Friday, August 15, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-11-021
Received on Thursday, 14 August, 2014

[Search all CoOL documents]