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Preserving Original Decorative Finishes

Part of what makes Lakeport so intriguing is the remarkable number of original and early painted surfaces that remain intact. Many of the doors and mantels still exhibit the 150- year-old work of the original unnamed mid-19th century painter. There is one door surface believed to be the work of his apprentice. The woodwork on the first floor was entirely over-painted in the 20th century. To the extent possible, manual and chemical methods have been used to reveal the original work. Damage to the original work caused by abuse has been repaired. When it was obvious that loss to the original surface was caused by use and wear, the surface has been left worn.

  • Original finish is an unusual interpretation of white marble with the gray veining drawn with graphite pencil Original finish is an unusual interpretation of white marble with the gray veining drawn with graphite pencil
  • Manual removal of modern latex paint reveals original faux marble finish Manual removal of modern latex paint reveals original faux marble finish
  • Consolidating paint after varnish build-up removal Consolidating paint after varnish build-up removal
  • Flaking paint is re-adhered with tacking iron to prevent further paint loss Flaking paint is re-adhered with tacking iron to prevent further paint loss
  • Varnish removal reveals original painted surfaces Varnish removal reveals original painted surfaces
  • Removing yellowed original varnish and cleaning upstairs woodwork to prepare for consolidation of remaining original paint layers Removing yellowed original varnish and cleaning upstairs woodwork to prepare for consolidation of remaining original paint layers
  • Becky Witsell cleans newel and handrail on walnut and oak stairwell Becky Witsell cleans newel and handrail on walnut and oak stairwell
  • Doors with paint overburden removed Doors with paint overburden removed
  • Tedious process requires lots of Q-tips Tedious process requires lots of Q-tips
  • Original rosewood graining begins to emerge Original rosewood graining begins to emerge
  • Chemically removing modern latex overburden to expose original rosewood graining Chemically removing modern latex overburden to expose original rosewood graining
 



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