restoring 60 year old exterior painting

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    • #133415
      Peter E. Durbin

      We are restoring 60 year old advertising painting (measuring approximately 15 X 28 feet)on a brick building. Can anyone help with what type of paint and even brand that will first, be long lasting, and secondly, have the color selections available to faithfully restore this large advertisement?

    • #133419

      Please can you state where the building is so any manufacturers or suppliers listed can be relevant to you ?
      Secondly – please can you say a little more about the condition of the original painting? Is there much remaining? Has it been documented? Will it be preserved under the restoration? Has any sampling or analysis been undertaken? I am sure you would want to make sure that the original is not damaged or lost.

    • #133418
      Peter E. Durbin

      Building is located 25 miles west of Toledo along the OH/MI line. Original painting was done by Vernors ginger ale company . Although it is badly faded and some areas of paint are completely gone, There is enough left so that design refurbishing/restoration should not be a problem. Chip sampling has not been done. What paint formula is best for maintaining its origianl color? Oil Paint formulas have been changed for environmental and health reasons. I am certain that original was a lead, oil-based paint.

      I would think paint used now would need to be a specialized item and probably not readily found on the home maintenance big box store shelf. Am I thinking in the right direction?

    • #133417

      I don’t know how hard-wearing your commercially available exterior paint finishes are, but I would imagine you have some that can take the tough weather conditions you experience in Ohio. What do people use to paint water tanks, bridges, buildings etc in your area? In the UK there have been some developments of paints using epoxies with glass micro-flakes which overlap as the paint dries, forming a very tough out er layer.
      I would also look at protecting what remains of the original with a clear protective layer so that if anyone wants to examine the original in future there is a very distinguishable boundary between it and the repaint. The new paint may last longer if it is coated as well. How big is the painting? Would it be possible to have panels printed and mount them on the wall over the original instead of painting on it? Each panel could be sponsored by a local business or community member via a website. This was done very successfully with a JMW Turner painting The Blue Rigi

      Hope this helps

    • #133416

      Hi Peter,

      Heritage Preservation’s Rescue Public Murals initiative has been gathering best practices for mural creation. Some basic information is on our Web site at and we are working on improving this site over the next few months. The site describes some research on exterior paint longevity that is being done at the University of Delaware. Muralists in the field report that the acrylic paint systems made by Golden Artist Colors ( and Nova Color Paints ( do well long-term. Both companies have good customer service that can suggest colors that are durable and historically appropriate for your purposes. Two additional companies that have high quality exterior paint but may have more limited color selecteds are Keim ( and Sherwin Williams’ Sher Cryl marine paint (

      I agree with Helena that you begin the project with a clear layer to seal the original paint. Note that this layer may not be reversible. Ask the paint manufacturers for their advice. Rescue Public Mural used this approach on a restoration project in 2009. See

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