An Evaluation of Selected Retouching Media for Acrylic Emulsion Paint

Engel, Nina L.; Zumbühl, Stefan (2015). An Evaluation of Selected Retouching Media for Acrylic Emulsion Paint Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 54(4), pp. 224-237. 10.1179/0197136015Z.00000000060

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In this study, polar and non-polar retouching media were analyzed to assess their applicability and reversibility on acrylic emulsion paint films (Golden and Schmincke acrylic paints). Acrylic emulsion paints are very sensitive to a variety of solvents. Only water, short-chain alcohols and aliphatic hydrocarbons are considered suitable for their treatment. Therefore, the retouching media used in this study were chosen for their solubility in each of these solvents. Distilled water and ethanol were used in order to test the reversibility of the polar retouching. Noctane, nhexane and diethyl ether, which offer weak dispersive interactions but different vapor pressures, were employed for swab removal of the non-polar retouching. Extraction tests with different polar and non-polar solvents, showed which components were leached out of the acrylic paint film sample during swab removal of retouching media. Gloss measurements and photomicrographs taken of the paint film samples before and after the application of the retouching displayed variations when compared to untreated reference samples. Both measurements were taken again after reversibility tests in order to demonstrate any changes in morphology and gloss of the paint film samples.

Item Type:

Newspaper or Magazine Article


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Materiality in Art and Culture
Bern Academy of the Arts > HKB Teaching


Engel, Nina L. and
Zumbühl, Stefan0000-0002-8896-2938




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Date Deposited:

18 Dec 2019 11:15

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2020 13:27

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