Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Painting - Sythetic Resin Paints

Acrylic Resins - Alkyd Resins - Cellulose Acetate - Cellulose Nitrate - Synthetics in Artists' Materials - Vinyl Resins

Prepared Artists' Materials - Polyvinyl Acetate Emulsion [PVA, Vinyl Polymer Tempera] - Acrylic Emulsion Paints [Acrylic Polymer Tempera] - Acrylic Solution Paints - Alkyd Resin Medium

[From: Kay, Reed. The Painters Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.]

Polyvinyl Acetate Emulsion

Polyvinyl Acetate Emulsion - Colors - Equipment - Supports and Grounds - Painting Procedure

Artists have experimented with water-thinned vinyl paints at least since 1946. The principal ingredient in the binder of these paints has been polyvinyl acetate emulsion, a material more widely known in the form of white glue, such as Elmer's Glue-All. The artist should be aware that these white glue products, satisfactory as they are as adhesives in the home and industrial workshops, are not the most appropriate grades of polyvinyl acetate emulsion for use in paint binders for artists' colors. Special grades of the emulsion were recommended by experimenting painters as being more permanent than the common grades of glue. Plasticizers were added to insure that the paint films would not be too brittle. Since the mid-1950s, co-polymerized polyvinyl acetate emulsions, some combined with acrylic resins, have been developed that are said to be more flexible than the older systems of polyvinyl acetate. Everflex BG, produced by W. R. Grace Company, and Polyco 2151 and Polyco 2113, made by Borden Chemical Company, are examples of these improved co-polymers that do not require the addition of plasticizing agents. Artists can obtain them in five-gallon containers from the manufacturers by ordering them from the addresses listed under Sources of Supply, page 274.

The liquid polyvinyl acetate [PVA] emulsion is milky white, but it becomes clear when it dries. Although water is used to thin the emulsion, the dried film is water [p. 201] resistant. Heavy impasto layers of the paint will not crack unless they are grossly overpigmented. In contrast to ordinary egg and gum emulsions, the dried color films are extremely hard and resistant to scratching.

The PVA medium can be stored well in glass or polyethylene containers, but iron or tin will discolor it. The emulsion should not be exposed to extreme cold, because freezing temperatures will cause it to solidify permanently. The pigments used in egg tempera techniques can be used with PVA, but titanium is customarily used instead of zinc white. [pp. 201-202]

[Kay, Reed. The Painters Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.]



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