Chalking is when a powdery, dry residue forms on the surface of an object composed of paint or plastic as a result of degradation (Getty 2013). The presence of a loose powder found on the surface of the art can be due to exposure to the elements as well (MCI 2014). Chalking is also due to the aging of the binding media- this results in the altered appearance of pigments and surface texture as the pigment and surface break down (Timar-Balazsy et al. 1999). Chalking is also a term used to describe the granular disintegration of finely grained stones (Vergès-Belmin 2008).
Synonyms in English
This occurs when parts of the paint pigment or plastic begin to deteriorate, most commonly due to exposure to air or the elements (Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute). Another common cause of chalking in paintings is that the original binder in the paint was deficient (Museum of Fine Arts Boston 2013).
"Chalking." Getty. Last modified July 15, 2013. http://www.getty.edu/vow/AATFullDisplay?find=chalking&logic=AND¬e=&english=N&prev_page=1&subjectid=300386687
"Chalking." Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Last modified July 24, 2013. http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Chalking
"Painting Conservation Glossary of Terms." Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute. Accessed March 24, 2014. http://www.si.edu/mci/english/learn_more/taking_care/painting_glossary.html
Vergès-Belmin, V., ed. 2008. Illustrated glossary on stone deterioration patterns. English-French ed., Monuments & Sites no. 15. Paris: ICOMOS and (ISCS) International Scientific Committee for Stone. http://www.icomos.org/publications/monuments_and_sites/15/pdf/Monuments_and_Sites_15_ISCS_Glossary_Stone.pdf
Timar-Balazsy, A. and D. Eastop. 1999. Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 126.