I wanted to share an expensive lesson I learned today in hopes that nobody reading this post will be doomed to repeat. For the artists out there, you’ll probably just laugh at this post, as you’ve surely experienced your own “eraser gate”, but if not, read on and take caution.
I’ll cut to the point and back into the details. If you leave a vinyl eraser sitting on a wooden table, it will MELT THE LACQUER FINISH!
I had been drawing in my studio and left my eraser and pencils sitting on the table afterwards. I then got distracted, for many weeks, with other painting interests and didn’t return to the drawing for awhile. When I finally got around to finishing the drawing, I grabbed the eraser and it was stuck to the table! Upon closer inspection, it had actually melted / dissolved the lacquer finish into a gooey mess all the way down to the bare wood. See the picture below to appreciate the damage.
I finally found a furniture repair company that does house calls and luckily they were able to do a suitable spot repair, which meant that vinyl eraser ultimately cost $250. Like I said, it was a very pricey lesson.
My understanding is that erasers (most but not all) will chemically react with their surroundings over time, so you have to be careful how they’re stored. The $250 eraser I used was vinyl, similar to this one at Jerry’s Artarama, but I believe this can happen with rubber and kneaded erasers, too. My erasers are now stored in their own canvass bag or wrapped in Saran Wrap. Hopefully I’ve seen the last of eraser meltdowns.