A citrus facelift for a nationally significant building
In March the front of the Old Parliament House building was lit up for the Enlighten Festival. It was spectacular. This week the artwork continues but this time on the rear facade. We are restoring the colour and texture of the facade to the original vision of the architect of Provisional Parliament House, John Smith Murdoch. The project will be done in three steps – removal of non-breathable paint, restoration of the render and repainting.
From the 1920s to the 1970s breathable paint was applied to the render in accordance with John Smith Murdoch’s design and intention. However, in the 1970s and 1980s non-breathable oil-based and acrylic paints were applied resulting in moisture being trapped in the render which has cracked and ‘popped’. The first step in this project is to remove this paint to establish a suitable surface for the fresh paint. The product used to remove the paint is non-toxic, paper-based, very effective and smells pleasantly of citrus. While it is doing its work it is swathed in thin plastic to prevent the paper-based product from drying out too quickly.
Once the old paint is removed the next step is to restore the render where it is cracked and delaminating from the brick walls; a very specialised job on a large, nationally significant building in the Stripped Classical style complete with soffits, piers, balustrades, terraces and access bridges. Finally, the whole will be repainted with fresh, white breathable paint.
As any DIY enthusiast will tell you a good quality job is all about preparation, preparation, preparation and all the detailed and laborious effort put into this project will pay off with a facade worthy of the vision of John Smith Murdoch.
- View more images of this project at our Flickrstream