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St. Joseph's Cathedral Restoration
San Antonio, Texas

Historic Stencil Conservation, Cleaning and Restoration

The restoration of St. Joseph's Cathedral, the oldest church located in downtown San Antonio, is one of our proudest achievements. The ceiling of the altar was in such disrepair from multiple leaks and tears, that few people would believe that our repairs involved leaving the original ceiling. Following is a visal documentary of this process.

(1) The vaulted ceiling was decoratively painted on card board. The damage shown here was caused from a continual roof leak. This photo shows the detached piece of historic decoratively painted card board being reattached to the ceiling. The damaged substrate required applications of layers of Japanese fiber paper and conservation chemicals in order to build up a new substrate to be come level with the historic existing substrate.

(2) After applying layers of Japanese fiber paper to the damaged areas, an application of conservation treatments were brushed over the surface for stabilization. The small nails were used to support the cardboard until the it adhered to the substrate.

(3) The areas where the card board had shrunk and did not fit the original location required layers of Japanese fiber paper and conservation chemicals to bring all the surfaces to the same level. The narrow wooden piece was used to flatten out the detached curved piece of card board.

(4) Detail photo of conservation chemicals being injected into the unstable substrate.

(5 & 6) After restoration, conservation treatments and inpainting where detached piece of card board was installed.

Curatorial Cleaning

Above photo shows a section of St. Joseph's wall before cleaning. The 23 karat gold leaf fleur de lies, white outline and the pink background of the walls were cleaned with conservation chemicals.

Paint analysis was required to inpaint the white outline and the pink background.

After conservation cleaning and inpainting where required.


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