Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Conservation Issues

Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby Not your average framer » Sun May 09, 2010 8:34 pm

I am currently undertaking one of those which has been a little more challenging than usual. I think I'll say no next time, but it's too late for this one! It is an engraved print on what appears to be paper, but has the feel of parchment, although I'm quite satisfied that it is not parchment.

A friend dropped it in to me and told me that the lady would come in and see me about it. Well, she did about two and a half years later. The inside of the frame was filled with rather a lot of grey / green / black loose matter which appeared to have become detached from the print. It was all wrapped up in plastic and I did not look any closer until the lady came in.

As it turns out all of this loose matter was mold, I've never seen so much mold ever before. She had a damp wall problem and the mould started in the hardboard back and just kept on going.

Much to my amazement I was able to remove the surface mold, clean the print and soak it off from the mountboard backing, to which it had been stuck down. So far so good, it even looks surprisingly good! Unfortunately she wants to keep the original frame, which I'm sure must have had plenty of contact with all this mold. Before anyone asks, the mold has been treated.

Naturally, I will seal the glass, mount and Conservatek foil barrier backing board as one package with a foil barrier sealing tape, but are there any recognised and safe precautions I can take concerning the frame?

Thanks in anticipation,
Mark Lacey

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― Geoffrey Chaucer
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Re: Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby Dermot » Sun May 09, 2010 9:06 pm

Chemical warfare of some sort may be a good option !!!!!.... :shock:

Freezing will not work, freezing will only render the mould dormant……freezing is ok for safe storage of “something” with mould on it.

A suitable face mask should be also considered….when handling “something” with mould on it.

And if you can you should handle the “something” in some sort of isolated chamber/area to prevent spreading the mould around your workshop a once off tent/chamber of some sort made out of clear polyethylene might be suitable.

Be aware you may be breaking the law if you use an extractor to expel the mould without the correct filter system needed for this sort of extraction chamber/area…..

Here is some information from the Smithsonian ... e/mnm.html

Re: Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby MITREMAN » Sun May 09, 2010 9:31 pm

Hi Not Your Average Framer,

You can use white distilled vinegar to treat the the back of the frame and rebate, you would have to do a test on the finished surface before using on the front of the frame to make sure its safe.

Step 1 Use gloves to protect your hands from the mold and a face mask to avoid breathing in the spores.

Step 2 Fill a bowl with white distilled vinegar deep enougth to submerge a sponge.

Step 3 Submerge the sponge in the bowl for 10 seconds. Lift the sponge just above the top of the vinegar. Squeeze the sponge once to remove excess vinegar.

Step 4 Wipe any mold and the complete back of the moulding and inside the rebate with the sponge.

Step 5 Hold the sponge under running water to rinse. Squeeze the sponge as it fills with water. Repeat two to three times.

Allow to dry, the smell will disapeare after a day or two.

The back of the moulding can then be sealed with a acylic quick drying varnish and your sealed frame package can then be fitted and sealed as for Conservation framing.

Diluted Milton can also be used as can bleach but vinegar is safer and cheaper

Kind Regards
Jan Stanlick GCF Picture Framing Consultant & Teacher
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Re: Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby prospero » Sun May 09, 2010 9:52 pm

There are brands of fungicide wash that decorators use. But spores are present almost everywhere. You never know they are there until they are introduced to the right conditions where they can grow. Even if you killed all the spores on the frame, others would waft in over time.
The best way to stop mold is to keep the frame away from damp walls.
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Re: Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby Art Surgeon » Wed May 26, 2010 12:18 pm

Not your average framer wrote: It is an engraved print on what appears to be paper, but has the feel of parchment, although I'm quite satisfied that it is not parchment.

Interesting point, from the beginning of this topic, on how to tell whether a print is on real parchment (animal skin), or paper that is made to look very much like parchment. In this case it must be paper, as parchment would have reacted very badly to being put in water to remove the backing. Much of the ink could have come away and the skin turn into something like uncooked tripe. Yes, I made this mistake - many years ago.
Nowadays I would use a simple test to make sure:
If you can, cut away a tiny strip from the edge, the size of a matchstick. Then set fire to it!
If it is paper (cellulose fibres) it will give off the familiar fairly pleasant smell. If it's parchment (animal protein) it will smell horrible, like your hair is on fire.
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Re: Precautions for mould spores on a picture frame

Postby WelshFramer » Sun May 30, 2010 11:33 am

Here's one I did last year. Before:
Old-frame.jpg (31.62 KiB) Viewed 4735 times

and after:
After.jpg (40.31 KiB) Viewed 4735 times

Thankyou Photoshop.
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