Conservation Colors for the 21st Century

Gamblin Conservation Colors are stable, reversible and suitable for use with a wide array of painting styles and techniques. Their innovative low molecular weight resin binder also makes Gamblin Conservation Colors safer to use for the conservator.

Robert Gamblin has formulated artists’ painting materials since 1980. In 1994 Robert joined the team of Rene’ de la Rie, Mark Leonard, and Jill Whitten who were working on a criteria for a new kind of conservation color which included: stability, safety of use, quality of manufacture, with excellent optical and working properties. Conservation colors made from a low molecular weight resin binder have better optical properties and better handling properties than paints based on polymeric resin. Aldehyde resins are a more appropriate binder than some other low molecular weight resins because they are slightly polar and they wet pigments more easily.

At the conclusion of the research project in 2000 Gamblin Conservation Colors became available to conservators all over the world.

Primary Qualities of Gamblin Conservation Colors

  • Stable Resin – Draw downs have been aged 3000 hours in a weatherometer (equal to approximately 62 years of museum light exposure). The samples retained their solubility in mild solvents, showing that the resin is stable upon aging.
  • Fully saturated color – the high refractive index of the resin leads to colors as saturated as aged oil colors.
  • Low solvent requirements – Because the aldehyde resin is soluble in solvents of low polarity, you can greatly lower your exposure to strong solvents while retouching paintings. If at any time in the future it is necessary to remove the color it will redissolve in mild solvents, to help protect the original work.
  • All colors lightfast – only pigments of highest lightfastness are used (including modern substitutes for Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, Sap Green, Van Dyke Brown, and Brown Madder)
  • Excellent working properties – we have applied our 30+ years of artist paint manufacturing experience to these colors, so that their working properties facilitate your work of retouching rather than make it more difficult.
  • Convenient size – most colors are available in 15 ml, ½ Pan and 175 ml jars.


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