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Queen Anne's Gate Report

Queen Anne's Gate Report

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Published by Patrick Baty
A sample paint analysis report of an early 18th century house in Westminster.
A sample paint analysis report of an early 18th century house in Westminster.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Patrick Baty on Nov 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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London SW1A Report on the Early Painted SchemesFollowing an Examinationof the Paint onVarious SurfacesPatrick Baty12
August 2010
London SW1A Report on the Early Painted SchemesFollowing an Examinationof the Paint onVarious SurfacesA BRIEF SYNOPSIS
Theexternal joineryappearstohavebeenpaintedonseventy-oneoccasionssincethehousewasbuilt in 1705. This suggests that the exterior was repainted on average every 4.2 years. Off-white and pale stone colours have been used on each occasion.Information provided by the paint suggests that the sashes were replaced soon after the SecondWorld War.The overdoor of the doorcase was stripped at the end of the first half of the twentieth centuryorpossibly just before the War.It seems that the narrow windows on the first and second floors of the front façadewerebrickedup towards the end of the third quarter of the eighteenth century(i.e. ca.1750-75). It is possiblethat the one on the ground floor was bricked up ca.1860-70.
The interior seems to have been painted on average once every ten years.The colours and finishes that were used reflected those have been found when examining otherbuildings of the same period. For the most part, stone and grey colours in their various formswere employed in oil paint on all wooden surfaces. Dark browns and black were also found onskirtings although the use of dark colours ceased by the early nineteenth century.Many of the earlier schemes were given a superficial coat of oil glaze in order to provide ashinier finish.(Probably) in the first quarter of the nineteenth century a series of alterations were made:a) The arch and door at the base of the stairs were inserted;b) The front door was replaced;c) The doors in the front room on the first floor were replaced / inserted;
d) The chimneypieces in the front and rear rooms on the second floor were inserted.As far as the existence of a closet in the front room on the ground floor, it is possible either;a) That a closet existed from the start and that the interior was painted on every occasionthattheroomwaspainteduntiltheearlynineteenthcenturywhenitwasnotrepaintedforabout sixty years;orb) That a closet did not exist until the early nineteenth century and that it was removedabout sixty years later.Thegrainedschemeinthefrontroomonthefirstfloorhadbeenappliedinthefirstquarterofthetwentieth century. The panelling that had been exposed recently in the NE corner of that roomdisplays late eighteenth century decoration.The paint stratigraphyappears to be sound on thesurfaces that weresampled. However, it mustbe understood that manyareas were wood grained at some stageand will havehad several coatsof gloss varnish applied. As paint does not sit happily on varnish it is possible that overlyinglayers mightshearoffifthesurfaceisknocked. Shortofsandingdownthroughthevarnishlittlecan be done about this.

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