Help - saving a ThunderCat Poster

Discussion in 'Vintage Collectables' started by mcss aerocoupe, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. mcss aerocoupe

    mcss aerocoupe Moderator

    I had two of the ThunderCats Magazine posters in generic frames (cheap-o design, cardboard back, flexible pastic "glass", and 4 strips that form the frame. When moving back in the winter (7 months ago tops) both posters and frames were fine when I hung them on the wall. But I recently bought new frames so I could have all 6 in matching frames; for some reason they no longer come in the gold color the first two were in.

    When I took the first poster down and transfered it to a new frame, all looked normal. But as soon as I took the second one down I noticed there were little bumps on the wall where the frame had been. The bumps are a rusty color and wipe off leaving a smear. The cardboard back had some bumps too. When I got to the poster I found a spot the size of a quarter on the back with these bumps, but also found several strips of white bumps on the back of the poster as well.

    The only thing I can think of is there is an AC vent that is drirectly above where this poster was, maybe the air coming out has been more moist than I thought and somehow started to mildew. Is there a way to salvage the poster? Or now that it has gotten these bumps, is it doomed to have them come back?

    Why, oh why, does it have to be one of the posters I only have 1 of?
  2. blackiecats

    blackiecats Legacy Team Member

    You might be best taking a pic so folks know what your dealing with a little better :)
  3. Lord LionO

    Lord LionO Mutant

    Seems like mildew from the AC? I would gently wipe it with a soft/dry sponge, maybe Q-tips. Has it eatin through the poster? A pic would be helpful but I think some dry air (maybe lightly blow dry it) would be a good start. Keep us posted
  4. mcss aerocoupe

    mcss aerocoupe Moderator

    Spot on back of poster, about 1 inch across. The white bumps are almost invisible in every pic I took, can't get them to show up.

    Slightly different angle.

    Spot is on back side of forrest between Hunting Plains, Berbil Village, and Caves. No spots on this side yet.

    Used this paper as a black border around poster. This side was against back of poster. This area is much larger than the area on the poster.

    Spots on cardboard, even larger area than the border page.

    Thanks for tips and help. I set the poster out with back side facing direct sunlight for about an hour, hopefully it helped.
  5. Time Traveller

    Time Traveller Junior Member

    It does sound like you've got some mold, but I doubt it's from the AC. AC units actually dehumidfy the air. Basically, without airflow behind the poster, or if it was directly touching the wall in those spots, mold could start. Putting the poster in the sun should kill the mold... hot and dry are the opposite of what mold likes. if you're still experiencing some spotting, you might try some very gentle wiping with rubbing alcohol. HOWEVER:
    This comes with some warnings. While rubbing alcohol evaporates very quickly, and likely won't leave your poster looking "wet", there are some potential complications. Alcohol can remove some inks from the paper. Some printings are highly resistant, some are not. This falls in the "test in an inconspicuous location first" category. Second, the glossier the paper, the less likely the alcohol will make your paper "wet" and curl/wrinkle. Generally, posters are printed on papers with a lot of sizing or coating, and this won't happen, but again... try it on a corner or something first.
    Also, if you choose to do this, do gentle wipes with a very LIGHTLY alcohol- moistened napkin or paper towel, hard rubbing or direct spray will be likely to remove more ink or coating.

    I use this method often on dirty cardbackers or boxes, and I have done it to some posters with success. Only try it if you are comfortable with it. Good luck!
  6. mcss aerocoupe

    mcss aerocoupe Moderator

    Thanks for the tips. I'll give it a shot tomorrow.

    Where the posters were hung for the last 6 months, it gets no warmer than 70 degrees, and it stays between 70-80% humidity. But for the last 5+ years the two posters have been hanging side by side. The only difference is when I moved, one went under an AC vent while the other was about 2 feet over.
    Merged Post:
    Update: Did the sun trick, will give it the alcohol trick later and give it another dose of sun tomorrow afternoon.

    As for my AC dehumidifying the air, my AC must be going out in that area. I put a thermometer/humidity gauge over a vent a couple hours ago. It is reading 60 degrees F/15 degrees C and 90% humidity.:eek:
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  7. Here's an idea....even if you can't get the marks off of the edges, have the posters matted and framed in new frames. The mats will cover that up and make it look great in a frame. You can always go to places like A.C. Moore or Michael's Art's and Crafts to get it professionally framed and they always have sales for framing.

    Personally, I wouldn't try to remove the marks as you could ruin the posters permanently. Take it to a professional framer and let them see if they can remove the marks. Professional businesses are insured and if they ruin your stuff, they can reimburse you.

    They have professional solvents to remove stuff like that. Please, oh please I hope you didn't use alcohol to remove those spots. I hope I posted this in time. Alcohol will remove moisture from paper leaving it brittle, causing it to tear, rip or dissolve by touch and it will discolor the ink, let alone wrinkle the paper. Paper will disintegrate after it's wet, especially with alcohol.

    Those posters are not made by regular paper, they are made by newsprint paper that happens to be glossy (like a magazine), that is even more sensitive. I've been to art classes in high school and college, I know about the different types of paper. I've used them all, drawn on them, printed on them with intaglio printing method (google it, it's rather neat about heating metal plates with ink on them ;) )

    Atleast take it to a framing shop for advice and an estimate, it's free and will save you money from having to replace it.
  8. mcss aerocoupe

    mcss aerocoupe Moderator

    No, I had not gotten to the alcohol Q-Tip yet. I could easily wipe the stuff off with a dry Q-Tip. But I've heard once mold or mildew starts, it is a pain to kill it completely.

    I don't know how it started, but I fear that if I just wipe it off and put it in a new frame it will come back and this time start with the poster and ruin it before I detect it. All I do know is it had to start between the wall and the back of the old frame, that area was the size of my hand stretched out while the spot on the back of the poster is about the size of a quarter.

    Where should I look for a solvent? Lowes/Home Depot?
  9. They won't sell you the stuff that is good. Trust me, get to a professional and let them do it. Professionals can get the stuff you can't buy in stores. There are solvents and stuff that can only be sold to professionals because of HAZMAT and OSHA requirements that must be acquired only through certification.

    Only because of the health risks involved that require proper training and equipment.

    If you try to repair it at your own risk with over the counter stuff, you run the risk of ruining it.

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