How can I conserve peeling acrylic painting on board.

I have a painting by my aunt which I would like to conserve. Has anyone got any idea how to stabilise the acrylic paint which is peeling off in large patches?

Comments

  • edited April 14
    If the paint is peeling off in large areas it sounds like an adhesion problem and a job for a specialized conservator. The only thing I can think of to do at home would be to fix the paint layer in place with a coat of varnish (that can be removed later) so that bits of paint don't keep falling off until you can get the painting properly assessed by a professional. 
    ashortstory
  • ashortstory

    Before any conservation get a quality photo record in good daylight.

    Peeling off in large patches sounds like delamination from temperature and humidity movement in the support. 

    The support (wood,cardboard, canvas?) might not be primed or gessoed. In this case a last resort measure is possible with a pour on resin coat with the painting lying flat and tilted to spread the resin.

    Denis
    ashortstory
  • edited April 14
    @ashortstory, you mentioned in another post that the painting was on untreated (unprimed?) wood.  In that case, all you can do is something like @Dencal suggested, but on unprimed wood it will never be stable. The other option is to get a conservator to remove it from the wooden support and reattach it to a properly primed support. That is a skilled and time consuming operation that won't be cheap. I've seen videos of this being done. I can't remember where but, if you're motivated to conserve it, you could Google something like "re-lining a painting" and see whether you think you could do it yourself. Not for the faint hearted.

    This is a good lesson for painters, whether they are using oils or acrylics,  to use durable, properly prepared supports. 
    ashortstory
  • Thank you for the advice. It was painted in 1984 and does appear to be on wood with maybe a white undercoat but nothing for it to really adhere to. I was thinking of trying to retouch the missing areas myself. The painting has no value, I just love it. 
  • ashortstory

    Thanks for the pics. Unprimed particle board will expand and shrink daily, with a twist and warp thrown in for good measure.

    I predict you will need to continuously retouch flaking bits.

    Yes retouch just before resin coating all sides and edges to seal from moisture.

    Denis 
    ashortstory
  • edited April 15
    @ashortstory, it's a nice painting. The lively brushwork gives it a Van Gogh feel. It would be a shame to let it deteriorate further. I hope you can work out a fix for it. You could repaint the peeled areas yourself but you will need to put some sort of coating over the entire surface (as @dencal suggests) to keep the the rest of the paint in place or it will continue to peel. Good luck with it.  :)
    ashortstory
  • I would suggest you ask this question on the MITRA forums as some of the people on there are conservators.

    https://www.artcons.udel.edu/mitra/forums
    Abstraction
  • Thanks for the tip, I’ll do that.
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