Phenol (Carbolic Acid)
Phenol is a 4% solution of phenol to prevent mold formation on gesso and chalk grounds or waterborne paint. Add Phenol to gesso or chalk grounds and store for days in a cool, dark place, or weeks in a refrigerator, without mold forming. Learn about its use in art materials.
Phenol is a 4% solution of phenol (carbolic acid; CAS Registry Number 108-95-2) to prevent mold formation on gesso and chalk (traditional) grounds and waterborne paint. Add phenol to newly-made gesso or chalk ground mixtures or waterborne paint for maximum effectiveness. Store for days in a cool, dark place, or weeks in a refrigerator, without mold forming. Add to water to prevent solutions of casein, gum arabic, skin glues, etc,. from decomposing on storage, and as a preservative or antiseptic to prevent mold growth.
Phenol is packaged in amber Boston round PET bottles for maximum storage life with a mist sprayer. The amber colored PET bottle prevents light from degrading the product.
Phenol (carbolic acid) has been accepted in the past as a more or less standard preservative, antiseptic, and germicide, but it has two disadvantages. It is volatile and has an odor; it is customary in industry to mask this by the addition of an odorant such as oil of sassafras or some other essential oil [Ed—clove oil is excellent for this purpose and also has some antiseptic properties]. Despite its disadvantages, it is still widely employed, especially with gum arabic solutions, because of its thoroughly known behavior.
Reference: Ralph Mayer (1991) The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. Fifth Edition. New York: Viking Penguin. p. 441.
To purchase Clove Oil for use with Phenol: Clove Oil
Directions of Use
For Casein, Gum Arabic and Hide Glue Solutions
- Spray Phenol generously onto the surfaces of the containers, spoons and tools that will come in contact with the solution.
- Add Phenol to the water (1 teaspoonful to 16 fluid ounces or 500 ml) in the recipe before adding other ingredients.
- Spray Phenol generously onto the surfaces of the containers, spoons and tools that will come in contact with the ground mixture.
- Add Phenol to the water (1 teaspoonful to 16 fluid ounces or 500 ml) in the ground recipe before adding solid ingredients.
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Causes severe skin burns and eye damage. May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure. Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
Do not breathe mist, vapors, spray. Wash exposed skin thoroughly after handling. Wear protective gloves, protective clothing, eye protection, face protection.
If swallowed: Rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.
If on skin: Remove immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water.
If inhaled: Remove victim to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing.
If in eyes: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes.
Conforms to ASTM D4236.