Conservation of the existing 1950’s John Fowler decorative scheme
Campbell Smith were appointed to conserve the existing 1950’s John Fowler decorative scheme in the Great Hall and South Stair at Grade 1 Listed Kelmarsh Hall in Northampton. The decoration was in a poor state, with widespread peeling and flaking paint.
The damaged paint film was cleaned using dry brushing and de-ionised water to minimise loss of the damaged film, and carefully conserved using techniques agreed with the Conservation Officer. Wherever possible, flaking paint was re-adhered and smoothed using heated spatulas. Where paint was already missing, the surface was fine filled, and colour matched to the surrounding decoration with artists media.
Following holding repairs to the fine 17th century ceiling and cornices, they were stripped of paint, and the earlier coats of distemper were washed off to reveal detail of the ornate enrichments. It was redecorated using traditional distemper in a 3 colour scheme.
Joinery was repainted in flat oil paints.
Through high levels of consultation between our team and the project stakeholders at all stages, the scheme successfully reconciled the objectives of preserving as much original material as practical, and retaining the ‘lived in’ design of the original scheme, while meeting the client’s commercial and operational needs.