One of the most interesting aspects of building restoration is discovering clues to the original finishes in a building. Use and change of ownership over decades can conceal layers of color and artistic detail. Preparing a surface to reveal the many layers can be challenging. This record of history can be lost in an instant with the use of general stripping materials before the details are captured and recorded.

Our Process

We analyze paint samples using various techniques. Our historic finishes investigation process consists of:

  • Archival research – We review any available historic materials (news articles, original specifications, photographs, oral interviews, etc.) to uncover clues regarding the building’s original finishes.
  • On-site evaluation – We take other building finishes, details and features into consideration in order to understand the work in context.
  • Analysis – We use a variety of techniques and equipment, including “cratering” to reveal multiple paint layers and microscopic analysis to determine the historic palette and a color match from a contemporary manufacturer.
  • Documentation – The documentation includes historical analysis, color match and recommendations for next steps.