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Opinions Wanted Krylon Gallery Series UV Archival Varnish

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Mark-Redmond-PAR, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Mark-Redmond-PAR

    Mark-Redmond-PAR Grumbler in Training

    I recently had a watercolor artist customer insist that she didn't need any UV filtering glazing on her framing design because she was using this product. Is anyone else out there fielding the same concept from clients? What's your opinion about the archival/conservation qualities of this product?
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  2. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Haven't used this (or anything similar) but there can be a trap with claims made about 'UV' varnishes.
    Often the UV resistance pertains to the varnish itself and not it's filtering qualities. It won't crack/yellow, etc.
    Not saying that's the case here, just sayin'....:D

    Best way to test it is to varnish half a picture from a magazine or other newsprint quality image and leave it in
    a sunny windowsill for a week or two. Usually the reds go first. If there's a difference between the varnished/unvarnished
    sections you know it offers at least some protection.

    But, if the artist is using Artist quality paints there should be no fading problems. Thus varnishing is unnecessary.
    Watercolour paints are rated for permanence. Any A's are good. B's not quite so good. C's - purely for temporary
    work. Many vivid colors used by illustrators are synthetic pigments and very fugitive.
    The good old earth pigments - ochres, umbers, are really lightfast.
    shayla likes this.
  3. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've never seen any scientific study on the relative merits of the UV varnish vs coated glass although it just seems to me that the coating on glass would be more substantial than a thin spray coat but reading from a can of Krylon UV Archival. "...contains Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer (HALS) and UV Absorber (UVA) for the maximum in UV protection." I guess I wouldn't argue with an artist on it.
  4. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I've generally been suspect of any kind of UV protection that you have to apply to art directly. Unlike sun screen the SPF doesn't wash off with your next shower and can present challenges should conservation treatments be needed.
    If there is no data on how the UV energy is dispersed, then I would challenge the manufacturer to provide third person testing to substantiate their claim.
  5. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  6. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers is the plastic additive that protects the plastic from yellowing and not the art (per Wikipedia). The "UV Absorber (UVA)" mentioned does not give the range of coverage. I find the claims as questionable as best without more facts.
    prospero likes this.
  7. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree with the others. I almost never use non-UV-filtering glazing on anything original (like a watercolor), and wouldn't really offer it to begin with.
    If you price your "reg." glass to be only a smidge cheaper than Cons. Clear, it will be obviously "penny wise/pound foolish" not to go with the CC.
    :cool: Rick
    shayla likes this.
  8. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are no claims that I've found other than that the sprays (and varnishes) contain those components. It stands to reason to me that using UV blocking glass would be beneficial no matter what else was sprayed on the artwork. I can't find any technical data on the Krylon site so I sent a question (no reply yet) Another company, Golden, does post some information on their UVLS sprays & varnishes and it's as you might expect. The degree of protection is directly related to the thickness of the coating. I would tell a customer what I know & I would always recommend UV filtering glazing no matter what but I wouldn't argue with their conclusions.
  9. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    For what it's worth, some excerpts from the Golden site.

    GOLDEN Archival Varnish contains Ultra Violet Light Stabilizers (UVLS) to protect materials from damaging light sources. However, spray coats are very thin compared to brush coats. The amount of varnish above the substrate and colorants is directly related to the level of UV resistance and the degree of fading due to light sources. When UV protection is required from this product, allow time to build up multiple coats. Testing shows 6 Archival Varnish w/UVLS coats are required to impede color shift of fugitive materials. When multiple spray coats is impractical, consider brush applying 2 or more coats of GOLDEN MSA Varnish (Gloss) if considerable UV protection is critical. After sufficient coats are built up, use GOLDEN Archival Varnish to develop the desired sheen. Refer to GOLDEN Information Sheet "Protecting Computer Generated Prints from U. V. Rays" for further instructions.

    We have done a series of tests, conducted in Golden Artist Colors laboratory, using a QUV Weatherometer equipped with UVA-351 bulbs to determine the relative performances of various inks and protective varnishes. Exposures of 1200 hours under these conditions have been correlated to be equivalent to 100 years of museum light conditions. Exterior exposures will be much more demanding, leading to earlier degradations and significantly faster fading.

    Generally, the results have shown that the inks with no protection have performed quite poorly, showing losses of 60-95% in color intensity. Prints protected with the 4 brushed on coats of the standard MSA Varnish show minimal to 20% loss of color intensity. There is a direct correlation between the amount of MSA Varnish and the degree of protection provided. When 2 brushed coats or less are applied, the results show moderate protection, but at an insufficient level to be considered archival2.
    prospero, shayla and Dave like this.
  10. Greg Fremstad

    Greg Fremstad MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    You can filter out 100% of UV light and the rest of the colored light spectrum will still fade the art! Did you notice in the test mentioned above that they used ONLY a UV light source? Thats for the same reason Wilhelm (the ink jet print fade testing guy) only used UV light. He told me that he did that so his tests would be repeatable. If he used ANY type of incandescent light - the different parts of the colored spectrum would fade different dyes/pigments at different rates. Please stop telling your customers that their art won't fade if they use UV filtering glass. Just not true! Read the ads carefully - they specifically use a term something like "Helps prevent fading from the harmful UV light". No mention about the rest of the spectrum of visible light.
    JFeig likes this.
  11. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't think anyone says UV filtering will stop fading.
  12. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I always explain that we need light to see our art but that the more we can minimize its exposure the longer the art will probably last, and that UV-filtering glazing is the best current technology for helping to slow the process. I always caution against hanging anything where it will receive direct sun exposure, because light is energy that accelerates not only fading but other undesirable changes. Sometimes I offer the analogy of leaving your newspaper in the driveway all day and how yellow it turns after the sun exposure, but nowadays some people look confused when they hear the word 'newspaper'.
    :cool: Rick

    Also, whenever a customer has an item signed in Sharpie, I advise them that although it says 'permanent' on the marker, what that really means is that it won't wash out in the laundry. o_O
  13. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We sell that product as well as the Golden line of spray varnishes. Me, personally, for my own watercolor or color ink art, I'd use UV glass in addition to any UV-inhibiting spray coatings. Watercolors apply pigments so thinly that the pigment molecule is quite exposed and there is little "backup" of additional such pigment molecules for every molecule that does fade. Oil and acrylic paintings have far more pigment packed into the paint film. Relying solely on the spray varnish is quite trusting. Why risk it?

    That said, I'll share an anecdote from a customer a couple of weeks ago. He printed out a sign and posted it outside his business. He had to replace it every 4 months or so since it faded so badly. He sprayed one with the Krylon UV Archival Varnish a couple of years ago and hasn't had to replace it since. "This stuff really works," he said with a big smile. (He was buying more for a different project.)

    Still, unless I was on a really tight budget and couldn't afford it, I'd use UV glazing regardless. You can't just "print out" another original watercolor!

  14. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I wonder if the treatment is at all reversible.

    There was a practice of mounting watercolors to a panel or canvas, varnishing them and framing without glazing. Findlay Galleries used this as a common practice on inexpensive (at the time) watercolors they picked up on the Left Bank back in the 1960-70s. Forward to 2000 and the painting is now worth about $40K (artist: Bernard Dufy) and the treatment to recover the painting is about $2K. But it could be done, and was.
    Granted, another time and technology, but the same treatment with the UV spray might not have the same outcome. My understanding that if it is acrylic based, it's one and done, no recovery.
  15. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have sincere doubts that even if it is reversible that it's completely reversible. Watercolor is water-based binder, the varnish is solvent-based binder, so it has that going for it, but often watercolors end up with an underbound paint film—it's quite common. That means the pigment is barely held to the surface. Any mechanical work (erasing, varnish removal) will pick up the color.

    A purist watercolorist would not spray anything on the finished work, much like pastelists who don't fix their pastels. The spray can change colors immediately—darken, typically. Plus the risks of the spray not aging well. However, there are advantages to be had by spraying.

    shayla likes this.
  16. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good testimonial. Never have gotten a reply back from Krylon though. I'll be at a show in a couple of weeks that will have a Krylon rep there. I'll try to remember to bring it up.
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