Historic Finishes Investigation

Decorative finishes contribute to the overall significance of a historic building. Historic finishes investigations are crucial in identifying original color palettes and decorative schemes, such as the use of glazing, stenciling, gilding, trompe l’oeil, and figurative painting.

Guided by archival evidence, conservators undertake physical investigations that include exploratory reveals of original surfaces and colors, also known as exposure windows, as well as the collection of samples for laboratory analysis. Our technical investigative expertise is amplified by the skills of our decorative finishers and studio painters, who utilize their training in traditional techniques and materials to bring the investigation findings to life. Their artistic training and artisanal knowledge enable them to create a range of designs, from faithful restoration and replication of original decorative schemes to simplified and modern motifs that honor the historical sense of visual balance and harmony.