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Beginning Discussion - Following Charlie's Path

Greetings all,

Bottom line up front:  I'm going to try to follow in Charlie's (and others) well documented footsteps.  I'm going to attempt to deacidify,  bleach and linen (or paper) back a movie poster.  If Charlie/ site administrator permit,  I'll document my attempt here.

Since some of the links,  videos and pictures disappeared throughout the site,  I'll try whenever possible to add this level of color into this thread.

First,  a bit of background.  I'm nearing retirement.  I've been both an Army private and officer,  store manager,  automotive engineer and security executive and I'm just about ready to leave my job at the US Dept. of Homeland Security.  I mention this only because I'm in no hurry to rush through the processes and steps many have outlined throughout this site.  I plan to take a slow.  measured approach to getting where I want to go.  Hopefully,  along the way,  others such as Mark/ Eisenhower and Zen-Master Dario will chime in.

I've had some experience restoring vintage rock handbills and posters from the 60s so not all of this is new to me

In my next post,  for anyone caring to follow this adventure,  I thought I'd start by identifying my "shopping list" of items I'll need to acquire (or have acquired) in order to get started.  I'll also detail the cost of this material and equipment.

I noticed on one of the threads here,  someone mentioned it would take around $1000 from start to finish.  As of March 22, 2022,  after working with Talas,  Amazon,  eBay and other merchants,  I'm finding that number to be very much in the ballpark.

Cheers!

CQ Link
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Comments

  • Awesome! Wishing you luck...
  • Look forward to the journey! It’s a great experience!  —will comment as I can. 
  • Charlie pointed out I had two similar threads.  I'll post follow-up here.  The other thread asked to post pics of recent acquisitions among other things so I may have rambled on a bit (Zep pun intended).

    I mentioned I'd start by posting supplies I thought I'd need to get started and the cost of those supplies.  I still have a few more items to collect,  however,  I've posted a supply and cost summary below.

    Some things such as Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils for restoration you may or will not need.  I've used these pencils for years and I've found no real substitute.  Occasionally,  Amazon runs a "Daily Deal" or "Flash sale" on the 120 pencil set for $119.99.  If you're doing restoration work,  you'll want a set of these at that price.

    Also,  as some have done,  you can certainly make your own tables and trays.  I just happened to see a 54" x 33" tray on Amazon for under $50 so I just wanted to save some work.  I'm going to drill a hole in the tray and install a drain for deacidifcation and/ or bleach rinsing.  Again,  there are certainly more cost efficient ways of achieving the same outcome.

    As you can guess,  I've found most of these supplies on Amazon,  eBay,  Jerry's Artarama.  It will be interesting to see if the Mulberry paper roll from eBay (China) is up to snuff.  At $56.95 for a 32" x 32' roll,  the price seemed right.  Also,  right now I'm not seeing the advantage of using Bestine over lighter fluid or acetone.  Similarly,  the jury's out regarding Absorene.  I'll need to work with these two items longer to see if there's a value-add.

    Finally,  I mentioned the cost to get started might be around $1000.  I included the cost of all of the decent and throw-away posters I have in that cost.  Currently,  I'm just under $500 if I take the posters out of the equation.

    Anyway,  here's the breakdown:

  • Thought I'd add a pic of the target of my first attempt.  Lots of mold,  paper loss and water damage but worse,  to think I could have saved $0.50 if I had bought my ticket in advance instead of at the door!


  • For those interested,  today I used a 5mil Mylar sheet as the foundation to paperback this 1967 Doors "Dance Concert" poster.  This poster is not the original first printing (before the show).  This one was handed out after the show and in this case,  at record stores around Santa Barbara, CA.  Interesting to note,  "Light My Fire" hit #1 on the charts on the date of this poster (Aug. 5,  1967).  Since the poster is in such rough shape and a second print,  I picked it up for $5.00 at a local swap meet.  I thought it would be a good piece for me to start learning how to mix wheat paste and paperback.

    Upon review of some of the papermaking posts here,  I think I'm going to try Charlie's Holytex/ "glue to table" method the next time.  That said,  I laid the Mylar out on my table and cut 30gsm Mulberry approx. 1" lager than the poster.  Here's a pic of the layout:

    Cut to size:


    I won't go into glue making.  There are numerous posts here.  I followed Mark/ Eishenhower's method.  As others have found,  after cooking,  cooling and overnight refrigeration,  the end product is like a gel.  I scooped it into a blender and thinned it with distilled water until consistency is h
    honey like:



    With that,  I placed the poster face down on the Mylar,  applied a THIN layer the paste with a thick brush and placed the Mulberry on the poster.  This is where I likely made my first mistake,  instead of carefully starting from a corner of the poster and bit by bit,  laying the Mulberry down,  I layed it down too fast.  This resulted in multiple air pockets and wrinkles.  I used a brayer to remove most of the air but the paper wrinkled in places.  I got most of them out by brushing them with a bit more wheat paste and rolling them flat but many wrinkles remained.  I'm sure the relatively lightweight 30gsm paper I used added to the problem.

    Waiting for it to dry:


    You can see some of the ink bleed where the paper is super thin (see through thin).  Not sure if I'll add another layer of Mulberry or not.  It's hard to see the wrinkles but they're there.  What looks like white air pockets in some places is the poster image.
  • Drying question:  At this point,  do you simply keep the poster exposed to air until dry?  

    Place another piece of Mylar on top of it and weigh it down with books or weights?

    Use a fan to circulate air?

    Any humidify considerations?  Air in my workshop is on the dry side (I'm in Detroit.  It's the end of March.  25(F).

    It's still wet but I'm not seeing any significant warping issues.  


  • Is your mylar glued to the table? 

    So you placed adhesive on the poster, then laid the mulberry on top? I would imagine as soon as the mulberry hit the wet poster/glue it began to soak it up and lay down unevely, especially if you were laying the poster down by hand. I'm guessing this is what contributed to the inconsistent placing of the mulberry onto the poster. 

    Here is the method i used, gotten from Charlie. 
    - i glued a "holytex" fabric to a large board, i think it had a melamine surface so I could remove it when completed. 
    - I then glued masa paper (70gsm's?)  of course Mulberry could be used---to the holytex, after it dried, 
    - i then washed my poster, sandwiched in between mylar, then removed 1 sheet of mylar, brushed a thin layer of adhesive, then with the poster still on one side of the mylar, laid it down on the masa. 
    - allow 2-3 days of drying, then pull the holytex off the board, then remove the holytex from the paper and done. 

    I'm guessing the poster was not completely flat when you laid the mulberry down, thus resulting in wrinkles/bubbles. Using a brayer is often not necessary, it can create fold line issues. I simply wipe it down form the center to the edges, of course the mylar is still on top before i pull it off, carefully of course. 

    If you've got creases, then i'm guessing you might use some pressure, but i'm not confident it will help dramatically. I let mine dry naturally 2-3 days. 

    Hope this helps and i'll check this thread again. But very nice to see someone taking big risks, having fun and documenting it! Keep at it!
  • Mark has it...

    Yeah, I think you misunderstood the process. The holytex gets wheat pasted to board. Board is also coated with primer barrier (dried for many weeks) to prevent water from soaking into the board and expanding/contracting. Once the hollytex is dry (or you can do it all in one go) you lay you masa or mulberry on the holytex. This then dries. I use to make several boards at one time. 

    Now you have the dried board/hollytex/paper.  Then you wash your poster using mylar - I sandwiched them to move them around. Peel off top when cleaning washing, sandwich and flip, peel and clean other side etc. Then roll out flat and peel off top to let it dry until damp (you don't want it wet). Then apply wheat paste and use mylar to lay the poster on the board (with hollytex/paper).  I would roll out poster gently with the mylar on top to protect the poster.
  • From back to front:

    1. 1/2" plywood with grey sealer/primer
    2. Holytex
    3. Masa or Mulberry
    4. Poster

    Make sure to leave enought room around edges for tearing as you seperate #3 from #2....

    I would resuse the holytex by just spreading some left over wheat paste on top to cover any lifting after removal.
  • I may have used some 1/4" plywood too...
  • Nice.  TY.   This helps.

    As soon as I attempted to lay the Mulberry to the poster,  I saw the method Charlie used was far superior.  That's why I mentioned I'll use Charlie's method the next time I try this.

    I'm fortunate I have a Seal Commercial Dry Mount Press.  I was able to flatten the poster out (it DID warp to a fair degree) but with Charlie's method,  I can see how everything stays flat/ easier to work with throughout the process.

    I'll post some before and after pics.  I've just starting the restoration (challenging because of the amount of paper loss).
  • edited March 2022
    LOL....Slightly warped.  That said,  the 30gsm Mulberry did provide a much stiffer backing than I thought it would.  I can see how paperbacked posters would be tricky to shipped rolled.



    After a few minutes in the Seal Press and trimmed to the edge of the poster.  As for the press,  I picked this up cheap in 1995 when eBay was actually a decent amateur auction site.  I've found this press to be indispensable.  If you can find one cheap,  I'd say it's a poster restore essential.

    I did lose some paper when removing the poster from the Mylar (another reason for using Charlie's and Mark's technique.  I SHOULD have place release paper on the Mylar before adding glue to the back of the poster.  Some glue got underneath the poster and, of course,  the poster glued down to the Mylar.  Lesson learned.

    Back side:




  • Here's the Seal Press (Commercial 210):




    That's the aforementioned release paper on the press.  I should have placed it on the Mylar before gluing.
  • Here's the color/ paper loss:


  • edited March 2022
    Here's the paperbacked pretrimmed,  pressed poster:






  • Trimmed poster:


  • Beginning the restoration pic below.  The large amount of paper loss is creating color application problems.  The rough,  exposed paper makes watercolor pencil application difficult.  The pencils "catch" on the rough paper fiber and create an even rougher surface area to work on.  The result is a "fuzzy" appearance.  Oil-based pastels dampen the paper fibers but they're impossible to mix to achieve the proper matching colors.  It's likley I'll need to experiment a bit with mixing up methyl-cellulose and cellulose powder and applying it to the poster before adding color to smooth it out a bit.

    That said,  here's where I'm at with the restore:


    I need to complete the base color application, blend some of the black lettering color and the green and orange areas and add the missing letters on the right border.  More to follow.
  • You have to layer the water colors to build up that much… then use the tooth with watercolor pencils to finish. Nice - now I need a press. 
  • Southeast Michigan - Yeah!!
  • Southeast Michigan - Yeah!!
    Cold beer always on tap if anyone’s in or near the Hood!
  • No longer anywhere near, but born in Pontiac, grew up in Clarkston (Pine Knob). Good to see someone represent the mitten.  :)
  • Finishing this one up.  If you're following,  this one was more about mixing and applying wheat paste and taking my first stab at the paperbacking process.  As expected,  I learned a lot during the process.  Thanks to those who chimed in!  Overall,  I'm giving myself a "C" on this effort. 

    I'm finishing up a frame for the poster and after that,  I'll put it all together and post pics.


  • Next up during the learning process is to deacidify and perhaps bleach a "throwaway" lobby card (LC). 

    To start,  I think I've read everything related on this site approx. three or four times.  I've also used/ followed guidance via some of the links others have posted here.   Generally,  as others have done,  I've reviewed many "Posterfix" videos on YouTube.  While I have a lot of respect for what he and his team can do with posters,  the linenbacking/ paperbacking information here is more informative and helpful.  I'll just let it go at that.

    Before I begin the deacidification process,  if I may,  I'd like other to offer my approach and ask others chime in if I'm missing anything.

    First,  after mixing up the deacidification mix (recipes found throughout this site),  I plan to follow Charlie's method of soaking the LC with the prepared solution between two Mylar sheets.

    Q1:  How wet does the LC need to get?

    Q2:  After I soak the LC,  I'm assuming the second Mylar sheet (first sheet is on the bottom of the wet LC) is placed on top of the wet LC.  How long does it remain on top before rinsing?

    Q3:  How many times should I repeat the cycle?

    Q4:  After the final rinse,  what is the best method to dry and keep it as flat as possible?  

    After I pin this stuff down,  I'll provide pics and updates for those interested.  As mentioned,  a LOT of this is covered elsewhere on this site.  I thought I'd try to consolidate the advise/ guidance one location as I learn from the pros.
  • Updated cost list for those just starting down this road.  As mentioned above,  items such as Albrecht-Durer pencils,  digital scales,  pneumatic staple guns aren't necessary.  I've so many posters in my collection, I'm in it for the long haul.  I thought I might as well get everything to kake this as easy as possible.  I can recoup some of the cost if I decide to sell anything.

    With the exception of a few items purchased at Lowes (2x4s, brackets,  spray bottles,  sponges),  all cost includes shipping. 

    Here's the updated supply/ cost list):

  • CQ--In regards to your 1-4 questions. 
    1) I deacid my posters in a tray so they take a bath of about 20+ mins depending on the paper/country/need to remove acids. They go in sandwhiched between mylar but float free. If you deacidifying in between mylar on a table, i would spray the LC, both sides at minimum every 5 mins, depending on room temperature; but certainly dont allow them to dry. again, depending on condition of the card and amount of acids/other spots you want to try to remove. 
    2) only after my 20+ mins soak do i rinse. then with alot of water, running over preferably, and mechanically remove with LC in between mylar. 
    3) I only deacid once, but again as long as i feel needed for the poster, and depending on the paper and strength of the deacid solution. if bleaching the paper you would need to deacid again, to bring back up the pH level to near base (Charlie please correct if my pH is incorrect). 
    4) well after deacidification, and not bleaching and not a final rinse with a CalCarb solution, I paste the paper down and let dry for 2-4 days depending on the thickness of the paper. A daybill will dry or should dry in 24-36 hours, but usually wait 4 days until i get after any resto. 

    Hope this helps answer any questions. 
  • It's still too cold here in Metro Detroit to work on frames/ painting outside so I mixed up the deacidification mix.

    I used a 1L jar,  three grams of Calcium Hydroxide CA(OH)2 and distilled water.  I mixed it up and let it sit over night (approx. 18-hours).  From the pics,  most of the CA(OH)2 settled on the bottom of the 1L jar.  It seemed like somewhat of a waste of so CA(OH)2 since much of it settled,  however,  this seems to be the preferred mix so I stuck with the guidance offered here.

    Leaving most of the settled powdered at the bottom of the 1L jar,  I poured the solution into a 2L and diluted with distilled water.  I'm going to wait for more of the solution to settle in the 1L jar and pour the rest into the 2L jar.  After that,  I'l transfer the solution into spray bottles as Charlie and others have done.

    Here are pics of the settled solution and the diluted mix in the 2L jar:



  • edited April 2022
    CQ--In regards to your 1-4 questions. 
    1) I deacid my posters in a tray so they take a bath of about 20+ mins depending on the paper/country/need to remove acids. They go in sandwhiched between mylar but float free. If you deacidifying in between mylar on a table, i would spray the LC, both sides at minimum every 5 mins, depending on room temperature; but certainly dont allow them to dry. again, depending on condition of the card and amount of acids/other spots you want to try to remove. 
    2) only after my 20+ mins soak do i rinse. then with alot of water, running over preferably, and mechanically remove with LC in between mylar. 
    3) I only deacid once, but again as long as i feel needed for the poster, and depending on the paper and strength of the deacid solution. if bleaching the paper you would need to deacid again, to bring back up the pH level to near base (Charlie please correct if my pH is incorrect). 
    4) well after deacidification, and not bleaching and not a final rinse with a CalCarb solution, I paste the paper down and let dry for 2-4 days depending on the thickness of the paper. A daybill will dry or should dry in 24-36 hours, but usually wait 4 days until i get after any resto. 

    Hope this helps answer any questions. 
    Very helpful. TY.

    I didn’t see this before I started.  I ended up doing three 10-min. decided baths with tap rinse (our water here is somewhat hard - I thought I’d get some added buffer) with the LC between two sheets of Mylar.   I used a squeegee on top of the Mylar sheets to remove excess water between between baths.  After each squeegee,  I  spayed with deacid solution after each squeegee.  Final rinse was with distilled water.  Next time,  I’ll follow your procedure.  

    As others noted,  the solution got yellow and smelled like cat pee.  

    I didn’t have blotter paper.  I squeegeed out excess distilled water after the final rinse.  After that,  I used paper towels between glass and let it dry.  I changed the paper towel after 3-4 hours.  The LC was flat but still a little damp.  I sandwiched the LC again with paper towels.  It’s still drying.   

    I’ll check it tomorrow and post pictures for those interested.

    Thanks again for the assist!
  • I'm going to wrap up this thread before moving on to bleaching.  The reason for this is it getting somewhat long, I'm still a rookie and I've more than a few more questions and didn't want them to get buried here.

    I'll post more pics of the finished Doors handbill I used to test my wheat paste mixing skills and my first stab at paperbacking.  I'll also post some before and after pics of my first deacidifaction with a lobby card (LC).  

    Asmmentioned,  I'm going faily slow and hope to progress to linenbacking on one sheet posters.  That said,  I think Charlie mentioned it,  I'm not sure why the preference for linenbacking unless it's easier to ship.

    Regardelss,  here's the LC I'm starting with:



    In next pic,  I'm cleaning the LC up a bit by using one of those ground up erasers in a bag (not sure what they're called - they DO take off a lot of dirt,  smoke and grime). 

    The process is you knead the bag and let the clean eraser particles fall on the piece.  Next you take the bag and gently rub the bag over the eraser bits/ across the surface of the artwork.  I've put a fair amount of pressure on the bag occasionally.  I didn't see any damage but of course,  it depends what you're working with and how fragile it is.

    Here's the eraser in progress:






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