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Monumental Services

Gilding, Lacquering and Protective Coatings

Analysis of historic objects can reveal early painting schemes such as lacquering, gilding and other traditional surface treatments. Architectural metalwork analysis will discover the earliest paint schemes which may be polychrome and reveal early or original surface gilding. Aura Monumental retain as much of this information and material as possible. Even when cleaning, it may be beneficial to keep the early lead paint films where they are in working order. Inspection may reveal gilding which can be reproduced. Aura Monumental gain understanding of the substrate and coating systems to ensure compatibility.

Monumental brasses are often damaged by overzealous polishing; the use of a reversible lacquer may provide many years’ maintenance free but must be assessed on a regular basis. Where coatings have been badly damaged, Aura Monumental record all findings before it is removed in order to retain as much historical information as possible.

Another vital process is understanding the oxidation. In the case of bronze statutory it may be possible to ascertain which parts of the patina are protecting a surface or damaging it. The copper oxide present will determine the nature of the restoration proposal and the conservation treatments adopted and will help preserve any original patina.

Aura Monumental understand the development of modern and traditional chemicals and the use in conservation to ensure that inadvertent damage is not caused now or in the future.