The Book and Paper Group
The American Institute for Conservation

A Simple Method for Tinting Repair Papers

by Julie L. Biggs

It is possible to tint Japanese repair paper very evenly by spraying the color on, using one of the mannually pumped plastic aerosol spray bottles that are found in every conservation lab. These spray bottles are sold for under ten dollars by scientific suppliers and other vendors; some, like the AirMist sprayer, are available in different sizes. This method works for dyes and diluted acrylics, though it is important to clean the bottle and particularly to run clean water through the spray to prevent the mechanism from clogging after it dries.

The best results seem to be achieved by spraying the paper (directing the mist across the surface, from side to side), with a piece of Hollytex beneath, while it is lying on a screen and leaving it to air dry. Spraying by this method avoids the mottling, tidelines, and creases that often form when the color is applied by brushing or dipping. The bottles can be reused indefinitely but should be dedicated to this purpose alone.


AirMist sprayer
BookMakers International
6701B Lafayette Ave.
Riverdale, MD 20737
Tel: (301) 927-7787
Fax: (301) 927-7715

Julie L. Biggs
Paper Conservator/Samuel H. Kress Conservation Publication Fellow 2000
Washington, D.C.

Publication History

Received: Fall 2000

This paper was submitted independently by the author, and was not delivered at the Book and Paper specialty group session of the AIC Annual Meeting. It has not received peer-review