Gilbert Art Blog

Historic House Plaque

The restoration of an historic house plaque is described in this post. Presumably the former owners of the house had procured the commemoration from the local society. Getting a new plaque didn't seem right. While It was a challenge, we happily brought it back to life.

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New life for an old friend

Weather Worn

The plaque was on the house since the early 1980's. It had been removed a few years back because of the poor condition.  It is interesting how the winds and moisture weathered the name and date areas while the remainder had only yellowed. After preparation, the letters and seal had to show through the primer.

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Ghost ship on a dark horizon

The society seal was mostly gone in the middle areas and faded overall.  It was our goal to not touch the wheel. "Built by" looked to be an addon that was eventually painted over. Bare wood was etched as much as 1/8" deep and paint was lifting off around the letters. First step was to shave off the flakes with a razor blade. Sanding it would ruin the remaining paint. A smooth surface takes the filler evenly. 

Acrylic Filler

Priming is optional these days though still preferable. This case dictated that white contrast be used to preserve what was left of the seal. Many thin coats of light weight filler were applied to achieve a smooth surface. Two coats of clear polyurethane were then applied to seal the porous filler. 

The letters and seal were outlined with a fine sharpie so they would show through the paint.  Flat white primer was then applied across the entire surface. Black paint was used to get the bold, full color. Liberty was taken within the seal using grays and whites to create shading. The wheel was left untouched. A distressed seal seemed appropriate. The plaque then received several coats of clear poly. 

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Faded seal emerges

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