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Question asked 2017-08-17 22:02:15 ...
Most recent comment 2017-08-18 23:23:30
Grounds / Priming
This may win the prize for the weirdest question... I have five maple panels that I sized and then later gessoed and left out on my porch to air dry. It's possible that a cat (or squirrel?) may have sprinkled them with their "marking fluid" while they were drying. (I've heard that cats are attracted to the smell of amonia.) There are a dozen or more shiny specs on each of the boards, which were laid end-to-end. And the peculiar and unpleasant odor is only slightly diminishing after a week and a half. I had thought maybe there was a reaction between the sizing and the gesso, but I think that would have resolved by now. So...if the panels have been sprayed, do you think it's a reasonable approach to clean them with vinegar and water 1:2? That's one of the home remedies that is suggested for spray on interior walls. I can wipe the specs off with straight water, but the odor seems to remain. I'm concerned about adhesion problems when I proceed with oil paint, or de-laminating further down the line. Alternatively, I could put another coat of gesso (water-based) on the boards, or an imprimatura of oil paint...? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :-(
Answers and Comments
Ammonia is commonly used in acrylic dispersion artists' paints, mediums and primers to maintain proper pH. Once in a while, (rarely) a mistake in formulation can result in a noticeable ammonia smell. If you have any leftover primer, I would try to duplicate the sequence of application. I doubt there would have been a reaction between different brands of acrylic that would cause a persistent odor but if you can duplicate the smell, it might give a clue.
I would be interested to hear from one of the qualified Moderators as to whether an enzyme neutralizer would be safe to apply in this case, even if it's not yet determined that urine is the source of the issue.
Given the uncertainty here, I am not sure that I could make
any sensible recommendations at the moment.
Matthew, I have not tested the
effects of enzyme neutralizers on artworks.
Honestly, unless this turns out to
be a case of normal residual odors derived from quality materials, I would
probably just start with afresh with new substrates etc., rather than risk the
longevity of works that may turn out to be important to the OP.
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