Waxing RC prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by presspass, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. presspass

    presspass Member

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    I'm not sure this is the right forum for this question, but here goes. Some years ago, I read of a finishing step for RC black and white prints that advocated a thin coat of paste wax on the image side of the print. Does anyone remember which wax was used, or if this is even advisable. Again, sorry if this is the wrong place for this question.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Why would you wish to do this?
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    You can use a pure paraffin microcrystalline museum wax like Renaissance wax. But again, why?
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Are you sure the article mentioned RC prints and not FB ones? Wax on RC prints might actually be deleterious to them.
     
  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    In college (the 70's) another student waxed his fiber prints. Looking at them, the D-Max appeared to have improved, but he said it was a PITA to do. I remember him showing me one which was left near an open window, and became covered with pollen. I never heard of it being done on RC paper, so can't help you with that.
     
  7. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Michael's and most art store sell Krylon archival UV sprays in matt, luster and gloss. The times I've sprayed prints I like the luster finish the best. It is very challenging, as Eddie noted, to keep bits of dust away. Best case is to spray inside with some sort of vent, several very light coats, and use a toothpick to remove any dust or fibers after each coat has dried. It's a pain but the results can sometimes be worth it.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Ansel Adams in his book The Print describes how to use lithographers varnish #1 for FB prints. This varnish should be available from most good artist's supply stores. The trick with varnishing or waxing is to remove all visible wax or varnish with a clean cloth so that there is no residue to attract pollen or dust.
     
  9. Marco Buonocore

    Marco Buonocore Member

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    I've seen a fellow printer put a wax on matte fibre prints, and it created a pleasant enough look. This was on the old Silver Supreme matte paper, which was super matte if you've never seen it. Similar to Ilford's new Art 300 paper. The wax he used was a conservationist's product, and intended for photographic prints.
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Gosh - here comes another piece of advice from AA. Inevitable. They also sold leaded gas back then.
    Print varnishes were intended for temporary protection, or more often, to add a retouching surface prior
    to airbrushing or whatever. The are still made, but nasty unhealthy and yellow over time. Typcially butyl acetate lacquer. Acrylic sprays like Krylon can be obtained at art stores, but have no archival value either. Museum waxes are pure microcrystalline, with no carnuba or beeswax, so stay quite clear
    without damage to either the print or all those little bits of hair and lint which inveitably get embedded
    in wax!
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Yes, we all know that AA is horribly oldfashioned and has nothing valid to say in his books. But then analog photography is also very oldfachioned too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2013
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Do you honestly imagine, Gerald, that a helluva lot hasn't changed in the interim? Zone system technique is what he was really pushing, and those books are still generally useful, but probably not
    a single film, paper, or filter he mentioned still exists. His darkroom setup was downright archaic even
    for that era. AA has his place secure in the history of photography, and because he was an adept
    teacher, we've inherited his knowlege, but then, added a tremendous number of tricks since. I've sold
    millions of dollars worth of specialized coatings and varnishes, and am testing more at the moment.
    So I think I know a thing or two.