The nature of paper (shop paper sheets
and paper pads
) as well as its inherent faults, can cause it to become moldy, stained, wrinkled or torn. Some of these problems can be corrected before further damage is done, but once damaged, paper can never be returned to its original state. Mold is characterized by brown or gray-green spots or stains on the paper surface. Caused by too humid an environment, paper mold, also called foxing, can be treated by removing the work to a dry place and exposing it to circulating air and sunlight for a day to kill the organism.
Stains caused by water or atmospheric pollutants can sometimes be treated by bleaching the work with hydrogen peroxide vapors in a closed environment. Insects such as silverfish, cockroaches and termites will eat paper and the only protection against this intrusion is insecticide or the removal of the artwork to a safer environment. When paper is torn, a patch can be made from paper that is thinner than the original art. Feather the edge of the patch with water and feather the fibers around the edge of the patch. Once feathered, the tear will be more plyable, and you want to make sure it i flattened. Attach the patch with a weak glue to the reverse side of the patched piece of artwork.
Careless handling, folding and rolling can cause paper to crease, wrinkle or warp. Depending on the nature of the media used in making the work, these physical defects can be reduced by exposing the object to a humidified atmosphere, by pressing under moderate weight or a combination of the two methods. For paper that does not contain art medium or paint, a good way to transport and store them are storage tubes and portfolios