The removal of aged acrylic coatings from wall paintings using microemulsions

Isabelle Eve Brajer, Marine Fossé-Le Rouzic, Yvonne Shashoua, Michelle Taube, David Chelazzi, Michele Baglioni, Rodorico Giorgi, Piero Baglioni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper describes experiments designed to
remove aged acrylic coatings, such as Paraloid
B-72, from lime-based wall paintings using poultices
loaded with microemulsions. In the first step,
four surfactant-based microemulsions were tested
on 60 specimens imitating Paraloid-consolidatedwall paintings to determine which was most effective.
In the second step, the best formulation was
fine-tuned and tested on six specimens. Among
improvements was the replacement of the original
surfactant with one that naturally degraded and
produced minimal lathering. Successful removal
of Paraloid (determined by raking and UV light examination,
FTIR analysis and contact angle measurements)
was marred by contamination of the
specimen by residual cellulose powder (from the
poultice), detected with iodine vapour staining. The
third experiment was designed to eliminate this
contamination. A microemulsion-loaded hydrogel
was successfully tested on four specimens. Results
indicate that it is possible to extract Paraloid B-72
from wall paintings without contamination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference Preprints - 2014 Melbourne
EditorsJanet Bridgland
Number of pages8
PublisherInternational Council of Museums
Publication date2014
Article number1103
ISBN (Electronic)978-92-9012-410-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • wall paintings, Paraloid B-72, Arbocel,

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