Getting out of a sticky situation: a look at preservation overview image

Getting out of a sticky situation: a look at preservation

  • Post Date8/16/2016
  • AuthorJohn Holton
  • Reading Time1 minute read

Collections Manager Christa Deacy-Quinn recently conserved a Christian wall altar with Pieta and Last Supper motif (1995.16.0001A). The wall altar’s glass was covered with masking tape, likely for stabilization during transportation years ago. Unfortunately, once peeled, it became evident that significant amounts of adhesive would remain on the surface of the glass.

To combat this, Christa used a heated spatula to slowly loosen and peel the masking tape from the surface. This allowed for the tape to be removed in full strips and minimized leftover residue. From there, a sponge dipped in 200 proof ethanol was placed on the glass to soften the areas of gummy adhesive. Christa then used a razor blade to carefully remove the now-loosened adhesive residue. Last, the glass was cleaned to remove any streaking and smudges. The wall altar is now ready for future display or further scholarly research!

  • slightly translucent masking tape attached to a glass panel of a European religious object
    A detailed image of the aged masking tape. Note its opacity, showing the gummy adhesive underneath the weakened tape structure.
  • an electric spatula is used to pull masking tape from a glass surface
    Christa uses a heated spatula to peel away the masking tape.
  • closeup of an electric spatula being used to pull masking tape from a glass surface
    A detailed image of the heated spatula warming the tape adhesive.
  • thin sponges soaking residue with ethanol
    Ethanol-soaked sponges were used to loosen the adhesive residue.
  • residue is scraped off of the glass front of a religious display object
    Christa uses a razor blade to remove the loosened adhesive residue.
  • before photo of object with adhesive
  • after photo of object after adhesive has been removed