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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Lessening Dust Exposure to Drying PaintApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-02-02 16:51:49 ... Most recent comment 2018-04-04 00:16:14
    Oil Paint Studio Tools and Tips
    Question

    ​I don't think this question has been discussed here? Can anyone suggest a good studio practice to lessen exposure to dust on drying oil paintings? (Not newly-varnished paintings, but during the painting of multiple layers of oil paint.) I've seen cloth draped over paintings in movies, but not sure if that was just for theatrical effect...and how would one keep the cloth from sticking to wet paint anyway...?

Answers and Comments
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    Tilting the canvas forward (if the easel will allow it) helps a lot. ​Covering with a cloth will help, provided something projects out from the canvas or easel to prevent it from contacting the wet paint, and also providing that the cloth itself is not dusty or prone to releasing lint.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2018-02-02 17:18:30
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I always leaned the painting forward to rest the top edge against a wall or the edge of the painting rack when in art school and in my private studio. If it is oriented properly the surface can even receive a little bit of indirect light to facilitate proper drying/oxidation.

    Brian Baade
    2018-02-03 12:35:18
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thanks for these tips, Matthew and Brian...much appreciated.

    2018-02-03 15:47:03
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Would some kind of acrylic, polycarbonate or glass help? Would they block too much UV light?

    2018-02-04 08:42:49
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​As long as it did not completely inhibit air flow, it should work.

    Brian Baade
    2018-02-04 14:43:57
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    I use a lot of black in my oil paintings and have to be extriemly carful to keep the dust out, which shows up clearly in dark colors. I've begun making cardboard and foamcore frames with screenprinting mesh over the faces. I either hang these over the paintings on the wall, or set them horizontally over the paintings on a work table when I'm not actively working on them. (Imagine a shoebox lid with a big hole cut out of top and mesh covering the hole. This is the idea, but I custom make them to the size and depth I need). It works great and I can even point a fan at the paintings to help them dry more quickly. The air circulates freely but the dust stays out. 

    Good luck, 

    Aliza

    2018-04-04 00:16:14
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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu