Before & After ~ Restored Paint-Graining

Before & After ~ Restored Paint-Graining at Victoria Mansion. Trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) paint effects were used in many 19th-century interiors. These decorative paint treatments were widely used to mimic more expensive materials – chestnut wood in this case. This example is in the entry hall of the Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine.

Decorative paint restorer and artist Tony Castro has recently been restoring areas of the paint-grained wainscot that have lost bits of the paint to flaking or scrapes, exposing the white plaster beneath. This work was done after conservators had cleaned and stabilized the historic paint and sealed it with a reversible varnish. The in-painting of the graining is only in the missing areas and can be removed in the future without damage to the original work.

Victoria Mansion is a showcase of 19th-century decorative painting and well worth a visit. https://victoriamansion.org/

In many houses, historic faux finishes have been damaged over time or painted over. Such finishes can be restored or recreated by a decorative painter or a homeowner willing to learn the techniques required.

Decorative paint finishes are discussed in Chapter 18 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are only available in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.

Our shop also carries select preservation and restoration titles by other authors. Save on cost and shipping with our multi-book combo packs!

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