Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom
Studio of Rosalind Whitehouse,
Accredited Paintings Conservator - Restorer
Consolidation of Detaching Paint Layers
Many people can recognise ‘flaking’ paint when they encounter it.
Pictures in this condition must be very carefully handled, and every effort made to resist pushing down those little raised flakes with the finger!
Egg Tempera on panel, before consolidation
Egg Tempera on panel, after consolidation
But discovering the causes of the flaking, and designing measures appropriate for securing the paint layers to the support, are part of the conservator’s job.
Sometimes the conditions in which the painting is – or has been – kept are part of the problem. On other occasions, the artist has used an unsound painting technique, or unsound materials. Earlier interventions may also have an impact on what remedies are open to the conservator.
The passage of time is, of course, a powerful agent in the processes of change and decay, whether we are considering wood or linen fibres, glue, resin or oil.
There is now a range of adhesives and modes of application which can be targeted at the damaged areas of a painting.
Preventive conservation measures such as better environmental conditions, (and monitoring), or backboarding and glazing the painting, may play a part in slowing down the response of the picture to its environment.
Sometimes a major intervention such as lining (in the case of a canvas) or panel work (in the case of a painting on wood) will have to be made.
The causes of flaking, its extent, and treatment measures would be defined and costed in the Conservation Report.
A Treatment Report will list the nature and locations of any work carried out, and specify the materials used.
22 Slipps Close, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1FW