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                                                                                             PaintingSphinxcopper.jpg (17047 bytes)

We have craftsmen who are specialists in decorative painting.  Finishes such as gilding, glazing, marbling, wood graining, and stenciling are most frequently requested, but are not limited to these. To see photos of the restoration of a ceiling originally painted by famed bird artist Athos Menaboni click on the copper gilded sphinx. 

We can help you with all phases of your project, from evaluation and documentation to pricing and execution. We can also determine original materials, colors, and methods and create a guide for the conservation, preservation or restoration of original finishes. Below is a list of question and answers to be considered when contemplating the treatment of painted surfaces.

 

1. Will there be paint analysis? Methods:

Cratering, selective chemical paint removal and exposures.
Microscopy and /or chemical analysis. 
A combination of the above.

2. Should this analysis be done by a specialist or staff personnel?

Specialist preferred. Photos and documentation a plus. Colors should be matched to the Munsell system or other widely  recognized standard.

3. Conservation or restoration? Factors to consider. 

Historical significance.
Soundness of paint and substrate.
Decorative paint. If portions are missing or damaged should design be reproduced or just infilled?

4. What materials should be used?

Modern materials-period materials.
Are period materials available, do they meet the needs of present use?

 

5. Paint removal, yes or no?

This is a difficult question to answer. If the finish is historically significant, efforts should be made to save it. Paint removal may be in order if the finishes are not sound  or the condition is such that it does not meet the goals of the project. Paint removal is an expensive process that requires experience and close supervision. Care should be also be taken in choosing materials, methods and processes.

6. How about cleaning?

This is a tempting first step, frequently undertaken to get a project off the ground.    
You may also destroy documentary evidence that speaks to original placement of fixtures, fragile details and modes of failure that might well elucidate the " inherent vices" of structural design and incompatible materials.
 

Without  experience and attention to detail  and proper methods there is a real risk of leaving behind compounds that can cause long term damage and confound later efforts. Please, let us work with you to read the past before you start.

 

 

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Last modified: March 13, 2006