J. Laffan Fine Art Conservation

Professional Conservation and Restoration of Fine Art and Antiques, Ireland

The Conservation of Murals and Friezes

We have been able to save and bring to life many paintings painted directly onto walls.
photo of upper corner of room showing five landscape friezes painted onto wall
Painted frieze above picture rail, 1936. Oil and tempera, paintings 30cm high.
Details of Above Frieze - Before and After Conservation
close-up of damaged section showing mold, and fading of colours
Damaged frieze
photo of section restored, with no signs of mold or fading
Completed frieze
We have worked in several churches and as in this case a private house. The roof of this house was destroyed in a fire, but the real damage was caused by the water used to extinguish the flames. This disaster occurred at the onset of winter and the walls remained saturated for a long time. This beautiful house was rebuilt exactly as it was thanks to the determined efforts of the owners in a year. The walls dried very slowly, this was good as faster drying would have resulted in more water pushing at the paint surface causing more paint to flake off. Salt depositing on and under the paint layer as water evaporated was a problem.
photo of frieze section with many white areas of missing paint and fading
Damaged frieze
photo of the section of frieze now restored with a beautiful sunset visible in vibrant colours
Completed frieze