PAINT AND MATERIAL ANALYSIS

Materials analysis can help to understand the chronology of paint schemes and/or alterations and gain more understanding about pigments, binding media, coatings and restoration materials. Our services include:

 

  • Optical microscopy of materials, preparing dispersions and micro-chemical testing cross-sections.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) or fluorescence microscopy and photography.

 

Sampling will only be carried out on an object, piece of furniture or paint scheme if there are questions which cannot be answered by non-invasive analytical techniques.  We aim to gain a thorough understanding of an object before we undertake any interventive treatments.

 

We follow a methodology for the analysis of paint samples and adhere to the ICON Ethical Sampling Guidance drawn up by ICON Heritage Science Group.   

 

We will send samples or materials for analysis to freelance material analysts if more in-depth investigative techniques are required.

 

We can produce an illustrated summary report of the findings and are happy to carry out investigation of surfaces or objects in situ.

UV light on a lacquer surface
UV light on a lacquer surface

Ultraviolet light used to analyse surface coatings

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Paint cross-section in UV light
Paint cross-section in UV light

Paint cross-section, from a 17th C. bench, in ultraviolet light.

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Paint cross-section
Paint cross-section

Paint cross-section, from 17th C. bench, in normal reflected light

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Taking samples on site
Taking samples on site
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Mountain blue
Mountain blue

A dispersion of Mountain Blue, also known as Azurite, viewed in transmitted light.

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Substrate layers - lacquer cabinet
Substrate layers - lacquer cabinet
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