Uncovering History: Paint Analysis & Restoration at the Eustis Estate

From JPCL, December 2017


When regional heritage organization Historic New England undertook restoration of the Eustis Estate mansion in Milton, Massachusetts, the team decided to do “a pretty heavy paint restoration” after paint analysis revealed the unique aesthetic styles of the original finishes. Find out how duct tape and graffiti helped conservators bring the interiors back to their Victorian grandeur....

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Tagged categories: Conservation; Decorative coatings; Decorative Finishes; Decorative finishes; Decorative painting; Gilding; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Paint analysis; Paint and coatings removal; Pigments; Preservation; Renovation; Restoration

Comment from Michael Kramer, (2/23/2018, 6:48 AM)

Great to read about such a wonderful restoration. Kudos to all involved!

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (2/26/2018, 11:30 AM)

Very impressive work (even if a somewhat surprising restoration method was used). Congrats to the restoration team.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (2/27/2018, 4:21 PM)

Very nice writeup - I would like to visit sometime!

Comment from Trevor Neale, (3/1/2018, 9:47 AM)

Great to learn that a will to preserve the past is still alive. The terms glazing, scumbling and clouding were techniques that skilled european painter/decorator journeymen were expected to be able to perform in the mid 1800s-1900s when oil paints were considered a luxury for interior walls. Most base coats were lead based linseed oils which were extremely easy to apply with a long wet edge to produce an smooth even appearance on large surfaces with 100% pure hogs bristle brushes. The paints dried slowly so each stage had to wait until the previous was ready for the next, often a week or more, quite a contrast to our current methods where dry wall and finish painting can be completed a few days!

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