View Full Version : Archival Sealant/ Lacquer/ Resin? Any Such Thing?

10-Mar-2011, 23:33
I'm usually anti putting anything on prints but I'm working on a concept which will require me to seal a print. I need to seal the print so that no air or moisture can effect it. I'm aware of different extensive mounting techniques but lets avoid going down that road. Are there are liquid based lacquers or resins that are actually archival and wont gas out or yellow and are actually considered archival?


Jim Michael
11-Mar-2011, 06:24
Someone showed this (http://ijtechnologies.com/index.php?target=categories&category_id=190) to my wife yesterday. No experience with it.

Drew Wiley
11-Mar-2011, 09:21
There are print lacquers and other types of coatings which are quite effective in the commercial sense for protecting prints during handling or in trade-show displays etc.

But I'd imagine most conservators would classify them as anti-archival. They tend to cross-link and sometimes yellow with age, and are irreversible. Overlaminates work better, but require expensive specialized equipment - nice for display work where you don't want to fully frame an image, but again, considered non-archival.

A few people use pure micro-crystalline waxes on prints; don't confuse this with cheap wax. True lacquers (as opposed to waterborne acrylics) are also quite unhealthy and need a proper spray booth. They used to be made from butyl acetate.

11-Mar-2011, 10:36
I've used micro-crystalline wax in the past for various things. I think I should still have a block. To your knowledge, the wax has been used to coat prints and is considered archival?

bob carnie
11-Mar-2011, 10:48
Thick heavy resins are very popular here for photographs. Very compelling in look, but I agree 100% with Drew, most of this is for look and not for permanence.
I know a few senior gallery owners who snub their noses at this presentation.

But for commercial art applications where archival is not the game they are quite beautiful.

google Joshua Jensen-Nagle , his work is very visually beautiful when using the thick resin over digital prints and a good example of the process.

Drew Wiley
11-Mar-2011, 10:50
There is no fixed definition of "archival", mainly just a list of "don'ts". A microcrystalline
wax sometimes used on photographs is sold as Renaissance Wax. It might give a little
protection from handling and atmospheric pollutants, but other than that would be of
dubious benefit.