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Subject: Krylon varnish

Krylon varnish

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Simone Vogel - Horridge <mone29 [at] shaw__ca> writes

>... Upon contacting the artist I learned that the
>varnish he used in the Sixties was Krylon. The company which is
>still producing it, was not able to give me any advise or
>information on the composition of the early Krylon varnishes. Does
>anyone have experience and suggestions on the removal of an early
>Krylon varnish? Or, is anyone aware of research in this area? Any
>information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

This is a belated response to Simone Vogel's inquiry concerning
Krylon.  I looked into the mystery surrounding Krylon in the late
1980s and early 1990s when I found that many of the coatings on
paintings from the 60s which the living artists stated had been
coated with Krylon were still soluble.  I published my findings in
the AIC News, Sept. 1993, page 25.  I tried to document the use of
B-72 which had been asserted by many conservators (erroneously
restated in the 1998 Painting Conservation Catalogue, p.138).  It
appears that this information was repeated from a Rohm and Haas
publication in 1961 where the author of the report (a marketing tool
not written by a scientist, I was told by a Rohm and Haas scientist)
states that "Acryloid B-72 at Krylon is (blank) as the vehicle for
aerosol sprays,..."  this was an obvious editing mistake where he
was talking about B-72 and how it was used.

It should be apparent to all that B-72 would not be a "vehicle" in a
spray can in the 1960s or any other time.  B-66 and B-67 were used
in Krylon spray products but there are no records to support this.
The only evidence is that from the CCI which reports the formulation
of the resin as methyl methacrylate and n-butyl methacrylate which
conforms to the data from Rohm and Haas for B-66.  Robert Feller
told me that experiments with B-66 in 1971 which indicated
cross-linking were due to a fault in the experimental design of the
accelerated aging tests.  Tests in 1981 suggested a much lower
tendency to cross-link.  However, he also suggested that
formulations with B-67 would cross-link with more avidity if made
with turpentine.  The experience you report is probably due to
exposure over long periods to heat of the B-66 formula.  This is my

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:60
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 10, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-60-003
Received on Tuesday, 8 April, 2003

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