Interior elements and decorative finishes are unique and significant features of historic buildings. Their preservation requires historic, artistic and technical knowledge, detailed attention and utmost care


Bespoke conservation treatments of painted surfaces in historic interiors.


History by Design has experience in the conservation of painted surfaces in historic interiors ranging from the 15th to the 20th century

Painted surfaces in historic interiors include:

  • murals (large-scale paintings)
  • wallpapers and wall paintings (paintings applied directly to a plastered wall)
  • ceiling paintings (either applied on plaster, wood or canvas)
  • any other interior element or surface that has been given a decorative finish (floors, wainscoting, panelling, fireplaces etc).


History by Design offers a consulting visit to your building and an initial condition assessment of your historic interior (element). This includes close observation of the object in different light circumstances (normal light, raking light, UV fluorescence).

It may sometimes also include testing conservation methods and materials on a small scale:

  • surface dirt removal
  • consolidation of loose or flaking paint
  • varnish removal

From this initial visit a treatment proposal and estimate will come forward. All of the above will take place in close consultation with the client about any specific needs or wishes.


An important starting-point for any conservation treatment is an understanding of the original appearance of the artifact and the extent to which ageing processes and alterations have taken place. Equally important is the use of reversible materials and methods for any step taken in a treatment.



A conservation treatment is always specifically designed to suit the materials and decorative finishes present in your specific object, room or building. This depends not only on the support material (wood, plaster, canvas, paper etc), also the build-up of decorative layers, the surface quality of the painting and the climate conditions in the room are aspects to consider. In addition the specific history of an object or room can play a part in formulating the aims of a conservation treatment.


No two conservation treatments are exactly the same. However, to give an idea of what can be involved in a conservation treatment, below are some steps and aspects that are often part of it:

  • surface dirt removal
  • consolidation of loose or flaking paint
  • varnish removal
  • repairing damages or structural shortcomings (e.g. damages such as tears, holes and lacunae in either the support layer or paint layers)
  • retouching lacunae in decorative paint layers
  • reconstructing missing parts of a decorative scheme


Please view my portfolio to see the diversity of projects and treatments I have worked on and do not hesitate to contact me for further information or to make an appointment.

I am happy to work together in a team with other conservators to take on large-scale projects and to be able to finish projects within a concise time span.