STICKING ARTIST’S PAINTINGS

Two of my acrylic art paintings are stuck slightly together at the top and corner. What is the best way to try to separate them?


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Q. Two of my acrylic art paintings are stuck slightly together at the top and corner. I stored them for the summer (with not enough separation) facing each other. I will NEVER be able to duplicate the color if it comes off.
What is the best way to try to separate them? I have an exhibition coming up and am desperate. I hope you can help me! B.R.

 

A. Sticking paintings—that’s a bad thing! I have not experienced this problem because I still use artist’s oils. The only thing I painted using artist’s acrylics was the backdrop for my model railroad in a room 26 × 33 ft. That’s a big mural.

Art paintings are slightly out of the realm of Painting Clinic, but what you are experiencing is called blocking. Blocking happens with thermoplastic paints and some not-fully-cured thermosetting paints. However, the problem can occur with industrial paints as well. For example, hot painted products coming in contact with each other can result in blocking. Painted products touching each other in storage can block. Packaging products too soon after baking can result in the package sticking to the paint.

The only possible cure I can think of is heating the affected area using a hair dryer. Make the area warm, but not too hot, and gently try to peel the paintings apart while still warm. If you painted on canvas having stretcher frames, remove the frame of one painting in the affected area so that you can peel one painting from the other That will make it easier to separate. Don’t apply too much heat or your paintings will look like Salvatore Dali’s.

Again, I’ve never done this but I think it will work. You have little to lose. Good luck! Let me know how you make out.

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