Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Board edge repair

Books are loved by many, including by some insects and rodents. This book had damage to the front board edge which was most likely caused by a mouse. The book is part of a two volume set in fine condition, so the edge is its one big problem.

Parts of the board, leather and marbled paper needed to be replaced. I began the repair by lifting the marbled papers on the inner paste down and on the front cover, saving any fragment of the marbled paper. I also lifted a section of the leather on the bottom corner.

The board was split apart along the damaged area so I could add a section of new board. I tapered a piece of thin dense book board along one edge and pasted it into the split opening. This provided a ridged base that additional pieces of thin board and paper could added to in order to reform the damaged area. The photo below shows this new dense board before adding and leveling the area with other layers. After the layers dried, the edge was trimmed to size.

I mended the marbled paper on the front of the cover with a piece of paper similar in weight and with the same smooth finish as the marbled paper. I tried several papers but finally had to hand burnish the final paper to get the smooth shiny finish of the original marbled paper.

I also practiced on several pieces of paper trying to match the color of the marble and found that working on a yellow toned base worked better than working on the white of the paper.

The paper was pared along one edge and pasted in place. The additional fragments of the marbled paper were added and I began the inpainting of the marbled pattern. Using the finest brush I had, I began adding the red swirls connecting the patterns with the fragments and then continued with the blue swirls and gray dots. There was also some light fading of the blue and gray colors so I had to adjust the color as I worked toward the edge.
The paper was then trimmed to its final size

I added a small leather patch and then repasted the marbled paper in place. The paste down was undamaged so I only needed to repaste it in place.


  1. What remarkable work you do! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Rippa job, Jana. What kind of price would work like this incur?... So hard to know...

    ~ Sonya ~

    1. I base my prices by the amount of time and materials used. This book was done for someone I do work for on a regular bases so he got a discount. If I remember it was somewhere around $50.