W. CONSHOHOCKEN, PA - While artist paints have been the focus of many standards for fine art materials, a new ASTM standard is devoted to something that gets used before the paint: acrylic dispersion ground, a liquid applied as a coating to prepare surfaces for paint.

The new standard, ASTM D 7733, Specification for Acrylic Dispersion Ground, was developed by Subcommittee D01.57 on Artist Paints and Related Materials, part of ASTM International Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications.

Sarah Sands, Technical Services Supervisor, Golden Artist Colors, and Chairman of the D01.57 task group that developed ASTM D 7733, said that the new standard will have benefits for both manufacturers of grounds and artists.

“For the manufacturer, ASTM D 7733 will provide a set of performance standards that were rigorously tested and supported by a broad range of the art-materials industry,” said Sands. “For the first time, manufacturers will have clearly defined and widely accepted tests that they can use to measure the quality and performance of their product against minimum requirements for adhesion, flexibility and the prevention of oil strike-through.”

For artists, ASTM D 7733 will allow them to purchase and use acrylic dispersion ground with confidence. "Until now, artists were confronted with a sea of seemingly similar claims with no way to know - except through trial and error, or confidence in a particular manufacturer - if those claims were based on sound, recognized test protocols," said Sands.

Sands says that D01.57 is now planning two proposed standards related to ASTM D 7733 that will focus on pre-primed canvases and pre-primed panels. All interested parties, particularly end users such as artists, are encouraged to join in the standards developing activities of D01.57.