Making It Stick!
Superior adhesion is
the key to good panelmaking.
If you learn only one thing on
your visit to this website,
please understand that the most important
features of a good art panel are these:
Adhesion, adhesion, adhesion!
Separation of layers
("delamination") is at the heart of
most paint failures in old paintings. So while
the quality of materials that go into a panel
painting are important, the choice of
materials and the ways in which they are
bonded together are crucial in determining
the ultimate durability of the painting.
You can read more about sealing
wood, primers, advanced-chemistry coatings,
and more, in our "Wood Science
Library". If you'd like to jump ahead to
that section now,
So, What Exactly Does
There is no
set definition of the term "Archival
Quality". At the least, "archival"
must mean that a product is designed to maximize
it's life-span. It should not decay from within
on its own accord. It should be protected to the
highest extent possible from external factors
that could hasten its decay. At a minimum, it
should do no harm to other materials in contact
For an art
supply product to be considered archival,
however, we think that maximizing the life-span
of the object itself is not sufficient. The
product must also be designed to maximize the
life-span of the artworks that are created with
it. For a panel, even using the best materials
available and protecting them from deterioration
is not good enough. By our reckoning, even the
most durable panel would not be considered
archival unless it contributes to the production
of an exceptionally durable painting.
permanent adhesion of the primer to the panel,
and of your paints to the primer, is the most
overlooked factor in assessing the
"archival" quality of an art panel. Ask
yourself not only if a panel is durable, but
whether it was designed to help you in producing
the most durable possible artworks.
panel, viewed 200 years from now, still in
pristine condition but with its paint peeling
off. Archival quality? You decide.