14 November 2023

We are pleased to share with you our newly published review article Poly(Vinyl Acetate) Paints: A Literature Review of Material Properties, Ageing Characteristics, and Conservation Challenges. The article gives an overview of PVAc paints from both scientific and conservation perspectives.

A brief abstract below:

Since their development in the 1950s, poly(vinyl acetate) [PVAc] paints (also known as vinyl) have been used by many artists, most notably in countries such as Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom; they are also used globally as a common binder for house paints. However, only a relatively limited number of heritage scientific studies have focused on vinyl paints. Consequently, many critical aspects of this material, such as the degradation processes, variations in paint formulations, and responses to conservation treatments, remain largely understudied. This article aims to summarise the available relevant information on poly(vinyl acetate) paints from both the scientific and the conservation practice perspectives. The article provides a brief overview of the development of poly(vinyl acetate) paints as artist-grade and household products and the known differences in their formulations. It also focuses on poly(vinyl acetate) ageing behaviour, the physicochemical properties, the recent scientific research on poly(vinyl acetate) material characterisation and degradation, and the main conservation issues regarding these paints, such as those relating to cleaning treatments.