The most common damages to gilded frames are broken bits of molding,
loss of gold, and overpaint. Water damage, age, shrinkage of wood substrates
and improper environmental conditions can cause the gesso to loosen and fall
off taking the gold surface with it. Frames can get bumped and dropped,
knocking of corners and pieces of decorative molding. White spots of gesso
remain, distracting from the original beauty of the frame.
Repeated cleaning, can eventually wear off the gold
leaving an uneven surface. Often well-meaning
attempts to even out a worn or damaged surface
result in a coat of bronze paint being applied.
The metals in this kind of “radiator paint” oxidize over
time, tarnish, and turn dark. This paint can be stripped
and the damage to the surface gold restored.
Missing pieces are filled with gesso and larger, more
ornate pieces are molded, cast and fit into place.
Many times a period frame accompanies an original work of art.
The frame’s restoration ensures it will remain in good repair with the piece as it was intended.