Maintaining an historic home is an onerous task at the best of times. When faced with the devastating effects of dry rot as well, there is sometimes less money in the pot than you would like. Restoring mouldings to their original gilded splendour is an expensive extra item over and above having the plaster mould recreated and fitted. Here we see the original gilded molding and you can see that the majority of the molding was just left in the bole (ground paint for gilding) and only the highlights gilded. This is a technique that used the gold to best effect as from the floor who could tell that only the highlights were gilded and this would have saved a considerable amount of gold.
|Original gilded mouldings|
|Original Gilded Molding|
About a 5th of the moulding on this ceiling were replace after dry rot and when I saw it first the client explained that the cost of gilding and returning it to it's original finish could not be covered, and I was asked to come up with a suitable alternative that would blend beautifully with the original.
|Old Joins the New...can you tell where?|
I was delighted in the recommendation that this client gave me:
'We were really panicking when part of the Dining Room ceiling collapsed, and with it a section of the decorative plaster work, which was finished in gold leaf. These Victorian plaster rosettes had had to be replaced and needed to match the gold of the original on the rest of the ceiling. However Cait from Carte Blanche sprang into action and managed to provide us with some gold paint that matched so well with the old gold leaf, that we only had to paint the newly restored part and not the entire ceiling. She was also really encouraging and helpful to our painter decorator as he struggled to hang our chosen wallpaper which needing trimming, which was complicated by the unusually high ceilings he had to contend with. The Mary Poppins of the Paint Finish World.'
I like that.....
Just before I leave this beautiful room, I must show you my favourite piece....and there are so many beautiful things here that it is hard to choose but I think that many a decorative finisher would love this too. An embossed gilded leather screen in the most exquisite colours.
It is always a privilege to be invited into peoples' homes whatever the project but this type of challenge is very satisfying and to even have been a small cog in the process of such a lovely refurbishment brings a smile indeed.