Acidic elements in frames may be unknown to you until years after the piece has been displayed. This type of deterioration occurs over a long period of time, becoming progressively worse to the point of decay. You will notice it in a discolouration of the paper, especially in the areas which are touching the materials with a high PH level. This will grow darker, depending on how long it is left in contact with the source.

Befoe and after cleaning of stained and foxing covered pencil drawing on paperAbove: paper which had become discoloured due to acids in the backing board, before and after restoration by our conservator

Eventually, paper with an acidic mount or backing board may become brittle and decay under the strain of this contamination. Whilst this type of damage can be stabilised and restored, it is best to remove the paper from the affected frame as soon as possible to avoid worsening levels of damage and a need for further restoration treatments.

Learn more about how acidic backing boards can be safely removed in our video below:

Get in touch with our team

If you have any concerns about a paper artwork or document in your care, please contact our team for swift and helpful guidance.

To make contact, email us via [email protected] or call 0207 112 7576