Mural Restoration / Conservation

In addition to new designs, the Studio also conserves, restores and replicates aged and damaged murals. For conservation, methods are used that preserve the original artists' work, while allowing its full beauty to be restored. Creation and conservation can be conducted in a variety of media to match what is existing or desired. In some cases, murals that have been painted over can be uncovered, conserved and restored.

Mural conservation requires both technical expertise and artistic sensitivity. Every project is unique, due to numerous factors, including a building's history, the wishes of the client, and the budget. With careful study, dialog and consideration, the best approach is determined. CSS does not take a blanket approach.

After considering each unique project primarily in the context of itself and its purpose, the actual work follows a basic pattern. The process for each begins with a visual inspection, as well as written and photographic documentation of the existing conditions and materials used. All existing deterioration and material failures are identified. Microscopic examination and materials analyses assist in identifying the best solution. A treatment plan is developed to clean the artwork and stabilize all that is original. Stabilization may include injecting a material, such as epoxy, beneath the artwork to secure it. Following this, a conservation varnish is painted over the original artwork to preserve it and separate it from any "infill" painting that follows in areas of paint loss.

One of the notable aspects of conservation work is that it is completely reversible. With this in mind, Conrad Schmitt Studios follows the philosophy that through there is a science involved, and a sequence to adhere to, our team of restorers must have an adequate comprehension of the artistic nature of the work in order to engage in greater artistic creativity. We believe that an open mind should be kept to new materials and methods which might prove successful in the conservation process. Conrad Schmitt Studios has been privileged to conserve historic masterpieces by artists such as John Severinus Conway, Luigi Gregori, David Swing, Marcel Vertes, Lionel Walden and Gregorio Lazzarini. 

The Conrad Schmitt Studios has conserved and restored hundreds of different types of murals across the country, ranging from acrylics; Buon Fresco; Encaustic or hot wax painting; Gesso or tempera both on walls and canvas; murals executed by way of the Keim process; murals executed in golf leaf, mosaics, oil, water glazes, aluminum leaf, sgraffito, stucco, white lead, porcelain, and cloisonné; and stained and iron oxide murals executed and fired into stained glass.

Murals are part of our national history, capturing as they do a snapshot of the conceptual and aesthetic mindset of a given time period. All over the world, artists' decoration and imagery have added beauty and inspiration to people's everyday lives through murals. CSS is proud to be a part of this long tradition of enriching public and private environments.

Click here to download our most recent version of the Mural Conservation Booklet:


Ottawa County Courthouse

Ottawa County Courthouse

Port Clinton, OH

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