Our latest project is complete! Yes, the brownstone with the ugly paint job and the dilapidated stoop has been restored and is ready for its world debut! While we did not end up replacing the old ironwork on the window grates, fences, and stoop, we did end up replacing everything else. The new brownstone stoop, foundation, lintels, and sills could not look more beautiful, nor could they match the new paint better.
Left: The finished brownstone facade. Right: The finished foundation.
Our first order of business was to get all of the old brownstone out in order to begin replacing it with the new. There are several steps that must be done before this can happen. First, you must get rid of the old deteriorating stuff by chiseling, hammering, and just knocking it off the structure. After that you are left with a heaping mass of chunky, sharp, masonry. That rough of a surface is totally unsuitable for the application of brownstone. In order to prepare the surface a base coat must be “scratched” on. After that the brownstone mixture must be slowly and surely molded by hand onto the structure, be it stoop, lintel, or foundation.
Top left: These steps needed some serious care. Top right: Lime mortar scratch coat.
Bottom: Second coat of lime mortar going over the scratch coat.
Somewhere in between the scratch and topcoat we had the pleasure of meeting with Mame Cohalon of the Cohalan Group, U.S. representatives of the German company Keim. We had a wonderful time as they explained the application and uses of their Restauro Grund base coat and their Restauro topcoat products. We were pleased to have them on the job and look forward to a continued partnership. As we pushed forward on our project, the building began to transform. The lintels and sills were the first to take shape. Once we had those finished we could then begin painting the façade and really put the pedal to the metal on this job.
Several days after the paint job was finished our friends over at Nax Construction, who painted the building as well as all of this wonderful work, put the final touches on the brownstone stoop and foundation. This job was fairly straight forward, but the transformation was amazing.