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My Restoration Project for an Old Friend

By Kerrysteele @kerrysteeleart
My restoration project for an old friend
Last year I arranged a meetup with two of my high school pals in Old Town Alexandria. One of whom was my boyfriend for most of high school and some of college.

My restoration project for an old friend

I was that girl who only hung out with guys in HS

Steve said he had his mother's 1940s ad poster that he wanted me to mount to a canvas and "antique". The little girl is his mother. I told him  that I would not be a party to ruining this fragile piece of art and that he needed to take it to a restorer. Somehow I ended up coming home with the badly damaged poster and a project to do something with it. Luckily, I really like his mommy and she was super nice to me as a snotty teenager. I procrastinated, did some research, procrastinated, bought a few supplies, and dreaded the whole process.
My restoration project for an old friend

Did I mention that it was badly damaged? It had been folded several times and rolled tightly in a cardboard tube. The only thing more damaging would have been a lit match. I started with a 48 x 60 canvas, distilled water in a sprayer and deacidifying spray.
My restoration project for an old friend

Restorers repair tears in paper using special Japanese paper to strengthen the tears. I decided that it was so far beyond my skills that I would simply make sure I did not damage it further and ensure that everything I did could be undone. I dampened the paper with the deacidifying spray and distilled water to relax the fibers.
My restoration project for an old friend

In some spots the fibers were stretched and it was impossible for me to have it lay perfectly flat. I was using archival wheat paste to glue it to the canvas.
My restoration project for an old friend

I covered the wet, glued spots with felt and weighted them with books.
My restoration project for an old friend

I needed a spare hand but the project only took a few hours.
My restoration project for an old friend

There are a few "bubbles" in the paper but I could not get them flat without further damage. Next I deliver it and implore them to get a sheet of acrylic to protect it. You hear that Steve...acrylic!?

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