Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 30, 2016
ASTM D5383-02(2010)

Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists

Significance and Use

Artists have available to them a wide variety of art materials such as markers, colored pencils, pastels, colored inks and airbrush colors. Many of these materials are manufactured for temporary artwork and may contain pigments and dyes that fade in a relatively short time. Product labels and manufacturers' literature do not always supply the information necessary to distinguish products that are stable to light from those that are not. This practice makes it possible to check the general lightfastness of coloring materials to be used in works of art; however, Test Methods D4303 must be used if color measuring instruments and appropriate lightfastness testing apparatus are available. This practice may also be used to evaluate other types of colored materials for lightfastness.


1.1 This practice covers a method for exposing specimens of colored art materials indoors to sunlight coming through a closed window. A card containing eight Blue Wool References is exposed simultaneously. Blue Wool References 3, 6, and 7, are used as controls in determining when to remove test specimens from exposure and rate them. Test specimens are rated by assigning each specimen the number of the Blue Wool Reference that shows the same amount of color change.

1.2 This practice may be used to indicate art materials that will change color within a few months or years in normal indoor exposure and those that will remain unchanged for a period of years. It is not rigorous enough to verify that materials will remain unchanged for more than fifty years in a home or office environment. A major consideration in developing this method was to keep it simple and short enough to be preformed without instrumentation in a comparatively short length of time.

1.3 This practice shall only be used to evaluate the lightfastness of art materials not conforming to Specifications D4302, D5098 or D5067 and when it is not feasible to use Test Methods D4303. Practice D5398, which is a simpler method, may be used by artists to evaluate the lightfastness of their own materials.

1.4 This practice is not suitable for evaluating materials with a high oil content such as artists' oil, resin oil or alkyd paints.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D01.57
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D5383-02R10
ICS Code: 97.195