Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Make Your Own Conservation Quality Canvas Panels

Making a conservation-quality canvas panel requires a reversible adhesive. In this example, we'll be usng Lascaux 498 HV, a water-soluble, solvent-reversible acrylic adhesive.

1. Lascaux 498 HV has a thick consistency similar to acrylic gel medium. It should be applied generously. Beyond this step, you need to know whether to use the 498 HV inits aqueous or solvent'reactivated form. Raw or acrylic-primed cnvas (cotton or linen) can be glued directly with 498 HV in the aqueous form, just as it comes from the jar. Oil-primed canvas (cotton or linen) is usually sized with rabbit skin glue, which will soften if it gets wet and cause the oil priming to separate from the canvas. Therefore, the 498 HV will need to be used in its solvent-reactivated form (see steps Alt 2a and Alt 2b at the bottom).

2. To use 498 HV directly in its aqueous form, you need to work fast because it dries quickly. Before it dries it is opaque white. If it starts to turn clear before you get the canvas on, you have applie the 498 HV too sparingly and/or have not worked quickly enough.

3. A soft brayer is useful. Using moderate pressure, work quickly from the center outward. Don't press so hard that you squeese the 498 HV out.

4. - 5. Allow the adhesive to sure under weight for at least 24 hours. A piece of commercial carpet placed between the panel and the weight will protect the surgace when mounting a finished painting. Several panels can be prepared in series and stacked one on top of another.

6. It's faster and easier to work with pieces of oversized canvas, which can be trimmed after teh panel has cured.
Substitute these steps for Step 2 above if you are gluing oil-primed canvas or linen:

Alt 2a. To use 498 HV in its reactivated form, it should be allowed to dry overnight. Then flood the surface liberally and quickly with Xylene. Make sure you have lots of ventilation.

Alt 2b. Quickly place the oil-primed canvas on the reactivated surface.

Final Note: If the painting ever needs to be removed by a restorer, the 498 HV can be reversed with Xylene.

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