Repairing a chip in a Leather Spine

Repairing a chip in a Leather Spine

Color touch up and quck fix to spine chip- Lamb -  Essays of Elia 9

The key to this quick fix is to understand the anatomy of this book. The spine has a natural hollow area between the liner of the text-spine and the liner of the case-spine. This must be preserved to maintain the functionality and in fact also to maintain the aesthetics of the cover. Before getting to the chip repair, I followed along the usual hierarchy for leather books. Clean and Protect, then I moved on to Color and finally came around to Correct and Paste which is where this part of the repair takes place. Afterwards would be the Protect portion which is where I apply leather dressing and sc6000.



Damp cloth method for cleaning a book cover vs. scraping method

I thought this video was going to be about scraping and color touch up again but turns out the damp cloth method worked very well. There are just a few notes on pens vs pencils to round it out.

Color Touch-up on Book Spine

This is one way to do color touch up on book spines. Another way is to use an acrylic paint wash. Both have their benefits. Note how an eraser doesn't clean off the brown stains at all and that it really needs the scraping action to even out the color effectively.



Shakspeare Box Repair: A bit on Tape

This is a very short video looking at some of the problems of a book box from 1904. This box has been previously repaired with what is most likely document repair tape which is an archival solution that is limited in it's appeal. For one thing it just looks like white tape has been applied. It doesn't blend in. Also, it is not easily reversible. If it had been applied with paste and tissue it could easily be re-done. Another problem with the box is that the seller taped directly onto some printing in the inner lid and this caused damage that is hard to repair and was easy to avoid.

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Basic Book Repair Kit Introduction

This kit is the same kit I bring with me when travelling. The tools and materials make it easy to do many simple repairs. Sometimes I need a few additional tools and many of these are listed in the video on common household items.  I am not going to list everything the kit can do here. Suffice it to say that the repairs are easy, archival, reversible and useful. That being said, please note that mistakes do happen, some things are not reversible and easy is a relative term. Fortunately, I know how to fix a lot of mistakes and will be posting blogs and videos about that as well. In order to minimize the number and extent of mistakes I recommend the following. Try out repairs on books of little value before working on something you care about. Test repairs on materials in areas that are inconspicuous on the book. Less is more! This just means don’t glop on the paste and don’t scrape or cut with abandon. Patience and attention to detail will get you great results. This stuff isn’t hard to do.  It is the same stuff you did in kindergarten; cut, paste, tear, color in the lines. Have fun! If you do need extra help you can do a Skype session with me. E-mail me for more information: