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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Is there a good, practical, reversible marouflage adhesive out there ?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2016-11-29 07:35:26 ... Most recent comment 2016-11-29 09:25:00
    Mural Painting Rigid Supports
    It seems that traditional marouflage adhesives were made of mixtures of animal glue and starch paste. Such adhesives are generally strong and can last for decades, but are quite reversible by mechanical means. Are there any modern products that could be equally strong and reversible for adhering painted canvas to walls or ceilings? Perhaps commercial wallpaper pastes with the addition of animal glue? Are there any tried and true adhesive recipes for this? It seems they are hard to find.

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerThe main problem with glues consisting of starches and proteins is that they remain hygroscopic and can therefore swell and contract in response to changes in the humidity....this can become especially problematic if the wall you are trying to adhere your mural to (I am assuming this is occurring indoors?) is an "exterior wall," as the wall itself can act as a semi-permeable membrane in allowing air and moisture through tiny cracks and/or fissures. But this is an excellent question and one that some of are other moderators are perhaps better equipped to tackle...I am leaning towards solvent-born adhesives that will not respond to moisture, however there are of course health and safety issues with this when dealing with extremely large works in a public setting. We will try and check on some other resources for you in the meantime.
    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2016-11-29 09:31:46
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerI do not know the answer to this either and we will reach out to others to come up with a good response. It may turn out that what you propose is a fine method, however, remember that "traditional" certainly does not always mean good or better. An even more traditional marouflage adhesive for canvas paintings was stiff white lead oil paint. This is now universally condemned. We hope to have an answer for you shortly.
    Baade, Brian
    2016-11-29 13:20:37
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentThe mural artists I've consulted swear by Roman 880 Strippable wallpaper adhesive for mounting canvas paintings. It's recommended for fabric wallcoverings, has a long period of workability and facilitates removal better than many other products. Some recommend preparing the wall with an unprinted wallpaper liner to promote adhesion, then pre-coating with the adhesive and applying a layer of cheesecloth to make eventual removal easier.
    2016-11-30 10:46:29
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentSorry, forgot to "sign" my last comment about adhesive. Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2016-11-30 10:47:42
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentDuring the WPA era, many murals were adhered with white lead paint. After reversing several of these (with extensive mitigation) I can categorically NOT recommend white lead. Even though it is strong, the toxicity and risk to the canvas to remove it makes it unsuitable. I would suggest BEVA or BEVA film as being more reversible and strong enough to hold painted canvas to a wall. BEVA is activated with heat, so if the paint is heat sensitive (eg. acrylic) BEVA would not be a good solution.
    2016-11-30 11:16:44
  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerThanks for the info on Roman 880 is difficult to glean what is in this product from the available SDS/MSDS sheets online but it does mention "vegetable paste" which may or may not be desirable as most adhesives that fall under this category would remain somewhat sensitive to moisture/humidity...but I suspect the other ingredients present likely counteract this problem. Yet another material that conservators and conservation scientists should be testing!
    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2016-11-30 12:07:56

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