Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Help with DIY restoration of vintage calendars

bulosbulos Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
Hello group, thanks for the invitation. 

I joined the forum because I have two vintage Mexican calendars that I would like to frame but sadly, they are not in the best condition. I've asked several professionals both in USA and Mexico for their restoration services and even though I know it would be the best path, I just don't have the money to go that route and the calendars are not that valuable themselves. 

The calendars photos can be seen here: Imgur: The magic of the Internet. They are lithographs and the material is paper (I don't know which type), sizes are: Sleeping woman: 22.5x18 in and Cigarros El Águila: 39x23.5 in.

I've done some research and I think the best course of action would be the wet cleaning/de-acidification, backing, filling holes and missing edges and retouching. 

I found this great post by Charlie detailing the cleaning process: Wet Work - Washing, Deacidification & Bleaching — The Vintage Movie Posters Forum but I have still some questions that I hope you could help me with:

1: Concentrations of the solutions used for cleaning (I understand that some people might not be comfortable giving that information if they have a restoration/conservation business, but an approximate concentration would be appreciated)
2: Is it indispensable to buffer the wheatpaste with calcium carbonate?
3: What kind of paper is used for the backing? I understand that the paper can be a Japanese rice paper and then an acid-free cotton paper but I haven't been able to find that type of paper.
4: Can I do the backing without a stretcher or do I have to make my own?
5: What material is used for the fillings? I've seen some people using gesso or paperpaste but I'd like to hear your thoughts. 
6: The retouching with thick paint would be a no go, since it would be too noticeable, so I was thinking on using watercolour pencils. 

I haven't tried to restore anything before and any advice would be appreciated. Please notify me if this violates any rule. 

I appreciate any insight and thanks for reading.

Comments

  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,915 admin
    I’m out of my mind busy today and tomorrow. If I don’t respond today/tomorrow - I’ll try to by the weekend. Or @Eisenhower might reply. Welcome!
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • bulosbulos Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Update

    I found another paper ad which is also in not great condition. This has a lot of bug damage and some mildew. Again, any advice on how to make the paper paste for the fillings would be appreciated. 

    https://imgur.com/a/MiACYYv
  • CharlieCharlie Member, Administrator, Moderator, Game Master Posts: 6,915 admin
    For fills there are a lot of options. I had used a mix of methyl-cellulose and cellulose powder... Most conservative method. You basically need an adhesive and material that can be sanded. For large areas use old poster paper.

    If you are going strictly conservation - no need to even fill.

    I’ve recently heard of gesso, I’ve even heard of restorers using spackle.
    That second mouse in the bowl of cream we call life...
  • jayn_jjayn_j Member, Singin Dancing Fool, Lobby Master Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ Daybiller
    edited February 2
    I will defer to the experts, but if it was my paper I would strongly consider going the stabilization and preservation route.  The pictures show that the calendars are in 'good condition.  I would de-acidify, deal with the easiest mildew and repair the tears with conservation backing tape.  Add quality frames and I believe they will present well, especially at 6 ft.
    - Jay -
    Curmudgeon in training 
  • bulosbulos Member Posts: 3 ✭ Mexican Lobby Carder
    Charlie said:
    For fills there are a lot of options. I had used a mix of methyl-cellulose and cellulose powder... Most conservative method. You basically need an adhesive and material that can be sanded. For large areas use old poster paper.

    If you are going strictly conservation - no need to even fill.

    I’ve recently heard of gesso, I’ve even heard of restorers using spackle.
    I've done some research and I don't think I will be able to get the cellulose powder but I can get carboxymethylcellulose, will that do the trick? Also I've made some paper pulp out of toilet paper before but I don't really know if that's a good option. 

    jayn_j said:
    I will defer to the experts, but if it was my paper I would strongly consider going the stabilization and preservation route.  The pictures show that the calendars are in 'good condition.  I would de-acidify, deal with the easiest mildew and repair the tears with conservation backing tape.  Add quality frames and I believe they will present well, especially at 6 ft.
    Yeah, I considered that was the safest route for the big one, but since I really want to linen back the sleeping woman one I thought, why not go the all the way with both? 
    For the de-acidification process I just need to put it in a Ca(OH)2 bath right?
  • EisenhowerEisenhower Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,497 admin

    1: Concentrations of the solutions used for cleaning (I understand that some people might not be comfortable giving that information if they have a restoration/conservation business, but an approximate concentration would be appreciated)

    -Cal Hydrox is what I use for deacidification. AIC Book and Paper Group has chapters of lit which recommend amounts. Although, I've only deacidified movie posters and a few magazine trade ads. I will say this, on my first attempt of the trade ads, the chem solution was way to strong and all the ink ran. Guess the ink in the paper ad wasn't sized as well as the movie posters I've done. That said, for your calendar "paper" lithographs, I couldn't see the image nor worked on anything like that so i'd suggest testing a few to see how the paper/ink react.


    2: Is it indispensable to buffer the wheatpaste with calcium carbonate?

    As far as conservation is concerned, the Aytex uncooked wheat starch I use certainly recommends using a cal carb buffer to raise the ph of the adhesive.


    3: What kind of paper is used for the backing? I understand that the paper can be a Japanese rice paper and then an acid-free cotton paper but I haven't been able to find that type of paper.

    I've paperbacked a few pieces and have used my Japanese masa paper for the substrate. It is 70gsm's and is good, but can be a little rigid and not meant to be rolled for the thicker papers. Charlie once used Mulberry paper with really good results; he said it was more pliable, and I think not as heavy a 70gsm. I've not used rice paper. If your going to linenback the pieces you'd need a frame with stretched Cotton Canvas duck cloth; mine is 12oz's. Unprimmed.



    4: Can I do the backing without a stretcher or do I have to make my own?

    I'd think unless your going to paperback, you'd need a frame of some sort of canvas frame to stretch the canvas, then glue the paper, then glue the calendar on top. Maybe make a frame using 2x2's? I use 2x4's; much sturdier.


    5: What material is used for the fillings? I've seen some people using gesso or paperpaste but I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

    You can also use old calendar paper pieces to infill any missing holes. Or as Charlie mentioned, mix Methylcellulose & Cellulose powder and allow to dry, sand, add color. It's a real challenge, at least for me is; it's one of the methods i'm still working to perfect. I'm thinking toilet paper will break apart when you try to sand.


    6: The retouching with thick paint would be a no go, since it would be too noticeable, so I was thinking on using watercolour pencils.

    I use Faber Castel, Albrecht Durer watercolors. Very good; they dry mat, but work really well. Again, much depends on what your touching up and how the colors will look when dry.

    Certainly a lot of variables to consider. Let us know how it goes.


  • EisenhowerEisenhower Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,497 admin

    Bulos,

    I finally got a look at the calendar images; very nice artwork; certainly would look nice if restored and fixed up!

Sign In or Register to comment.