Perfection, thy name is silicate mineral paint

One of our many Summer 2012 jobs has some interesting challenges. Aside from the iron work involved in replacing the window grates, fencing, and below-stoop door, we were tasked with the repair and repaint of this brownstone (including the stoop and walls from foundation to cornice) in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Before   After

Out with the old, in with the new! The hideous old paint job (left) gets replaced with beautiful new paint (right)

It seems a straightforward task: some cement patchwork on the stoop, a couple of gallons of paint. But it’s shaping up to be a little more involved than that! We’ve already got the old, completely out of place paint job chipped away so we can have a fresh surface to install new Keim product for the continued preservation of the building.

Exterior   Mixing

Work gets underway on the exterior of this Brooklyn Brownstone

Because the restoration of old masonry is a difficult and careful process, so too is the use of restoration products like those supplied by companies such as Cathedral Stone or Keim. Reggie and the people we work with here at BLWS are trained in the careful application of Cathedral Stone Products. However, we realized that there was a gap in our ability to perform to the standards New York City’s historic buildings truly demand. We realized that to perform to the standards we set for ourselves, we needed to know about Keim as much as Cathedral Stone.

Applying plaster   Steps

Work being done on the stoop and window lintels

We wanted to be completely familiar with all of the products available so that we could recognize when it’s appropriate to use Keim on this feature, and Cathedral Stone on that one. For example, Keim has many great products for vertical surfaces, but lacks applicable materials for horizontal surfaces. Cathedral Stone, on the other hand, does provide paints and coatings for horizontal application. So what we did was contact the people of Keim and schedule a meeting whereby they could come and train us in the application of their product. This is no small task as they had to travel from Delaware to train us! In our field, learning never stops, and once they train us (plus one of our closest partners) we’ll have yet another skill under our belts.

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