An integral part of the preparations for renovating a listed building is protecting its valuable original elements. Even the smallest damage they might suffer during the renovations may prove to be beyond repair. Last week, we completed the first step in the process: covering the entire staircase of the Liebling House in plywood that protects the terrazzo castings, the wall tiles, the front door, the fountain in the lobby, and the wooden railing. When choosing the appropriate protective material, it’s important to ensure that it is both durable over time and can be dismantled at the end of the work without causing further damage.
The wooden windows and doors of the Liebling House are being preserved along with the building itself. After gently removing them from the lintels, the various pieces received extensive treatment: removing layers of old paint, filling holes, scrubbing, polishing, and applying a protective layer of oil. All the handles and hinges were also thoroughly cleaned until their original material was revealed. Now we’re having an interesting discussion about the new paint and pigments. Paint and color conservation expert architect Marlu Müller-Ortloff, suggests linseed oil and pigments; other options include acrylic or synthetic polyurethane paint. Each alternative has advantages and disadvantages, such as durability, implementation, cost, authenticity, and sustainability.