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Friday, February 26, 2010

Preventing 'bleeding' of signed baseballs from David J.

Q. Try this one!

I have a unique collection.  I have autographed baseballs...not of sports
heroes, but of MY heroes.  My grandfather, my dad, an uncle, and some others.  The signatures on a couple of balls is NOT fading so much as"bleeding."  The ink from the pens is sort of bleeding into itself.  Is there a spray or anything that I could use to retard this process? A spray lacquer?  Any ideas?
Thanks for any help you can give me!

A. This was a tough one and I think your collection is terrific - what a great idea for young families!

After researching this for a bit, I have settled on an answer found at Sweet Spot Online Charles Kaufman writes on the site:

"There is a way to protect your collection from UV light. Krylon. Crystal Clear Krylon (Product 1305) is no invitation to take your collection to the beach, but its chemistry is touted to protect autographs from fading as well as anything else. This product is used by graphic artists and photographers who want to protect grahite and other artwork. Experts recommend a light spray to protect the ball and to preserve the natural appearance of the autographed surface. Place the item on the cap of the can and hold the can about 14 inches away; spray lightly, maybe two seconds. Just a quick shot is all that's needed. Consider two more coats, but users should use their own judgment. Warning, some people challenge the use of Krylon on signed baseballs, arguing that any coating will act the same as lacquer of old."

The Krylon would also stop the bleeding by sealing as you suggested in your question.  So you'll be stopping the bleeding and protecting from fading at the same time.

When I contacted him for permission to publish he added:
"Collectors should NOT attempt to "repair" a signed item by writing over the signature. It's a slightly different, but similar, issue."

Good to know!

Hope this helps, David
and thank you for the unique question, Debra