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Child's Painted Bedroom Set

Object Description: Two chests of drawers and two bedside tables painted by client's mother. 20th century. Primary wood: Pine (Pinus spp.) Coatings: Blue milk paint; unknown paint (sailboats).

Condition Before Treatment

Had been stored in an uncontrolled environment and suffered loss of decorative rope, mildew on entirety of coating, loose structural components, and was missing portions of substrate. Mold cleaning treatment was complicated by wide solubility parameters of "sailboat" details.

Treatment Performed

These pieces have tremendous sentimental value to the client. The extremely sensitive sailboat painting in particular required very sensitive cleaning. Mold was killed on painted surfaces with a 6% sodium tetraborate solution followed by a 16% aqueous Vulpex solution / 1% Micro-90 solution, and rinsed twice with distilled H20. Bare wood was treated with ethanol to kill mildew. Existing rope was removed and allowed to soak in sodium tetraborate solution and rinsed with distilled H20. Minor structural repairs were performed. Missing rope was glued in place with ethylene-vinyl acetate and inpainted with shellac and NGR dyes to match existing rope. Drawer insides were coated with dewaxed shellac matted with fumed silica. Painted surfaces were sealed with aqueous dewaxed crystallac shellac followed by 2 applications of 10% w/v Acryloid B67 in 85% naphtha/15% xylene flattened with fumed silica to matte sheen.

To view full conservation report, click here.


MILDEW                                                    DAMAGED ROPE

ATTACHING ROPE                                                    CLEANING ROPE



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