Ripolin cans from Sidney Nolan's studio (Paula Dredge)Paintings conservator Paula Dredge from the Art Gallery of New South Wales has been working with Australian researchers and US conservators on a study of the composition and degradation of a particular brand of enamel house-paint (Ripolin) from the studio of the well-known Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

Paula used synchrotron infrared spectroscopy to investigate deterioration of zinc oxide pigments combined with oil in sealed and still-liquid Ripolin paint. Zinc oxide deterioration can cause lumps and cracks in some oil paintings.

Paula Dredge et al., Lifting the lids off Ripolin: a collection of paint from Sidney Nolan’s studio, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 2013, Vol. 52 No. 4, 213–226