Removing paints and coatings

The complete removal of cement based coatings, many layers of different paints and dirt or carbon deposits is a vital stage in the restoration of historic buildings.

There are several methods available and some coatings can be challenging. This building had originally been painted in a lime based mineral finish with many layers of modern paints added over the top of the original.

In some places the layers of paint scraped off with hand tools, moisture had softened the mineral paint below and can be seen forming blisters along the face of the moulding

Around the 1970’s the building had also been painted with a cement based paint, sold as a waterproof paint solution that formed a thick impenetrable crust, moisture was still trapped behind this layer and the only way to remove this coating was by continuously chipping or pecking away with small chisels and hammers.

The original stucco plasterwork and sandstone details on some of the lower levels were in a restorable condition in most places, long days of carefully pecking away the hard layers will be followed by high pressure steam to remove any remaining coatings.


When all the chipping off and major removal is complete we begin working our way down the building using our high pressure THERMATECH, superheated water system to remove any remaining coatings. Adjusting the pressure and temperature to minimise damage to the substrate.

Removing the modern paint coatings and cement revealed a lot of original detail and we are able to repair the mouldings and re surface the plain faced ashlar using tradition materials to match exactly with the original.

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