Hall Conservation were asked to restore two bronze doors at the Ferens Art Gallery in Queen Victoria Square, Hull after they were sprayed with graffiti.
The doors were 3mm sheet bronze with cast bronze elements. The recent graffiti was clearly visible. Behind that spray paint, it was believed that there were ghost marks from where previous graffiti had been removed. However after closer examination, these ghost marks were found to be over-enthusiastic attempts to clean away marks left by adhesive tape of some kind.
The surface was slightly roughened by mild corrosion and a layer of dirt had built up over the years. The door handles were lions’ heads holding rings. There were also railings that needed conservation treatment on each side of the steps leading up to the doors.
Tests were completed to identify the best way of removing the graffiti. It was found that acetone and fine grade wire wool lifted the unwelcome spray paint without damage to the patina under it. The ghost marks created by previous rougher cleaning were then blended in using a wash of acrylic paint.
Finally, a lightly tinted micro crystalline and carnauba wax was applied to the surface of the doors to protect them from corroding.
With the doors and handrails restored to their former glory, they are once more a welcoming feature to art lovers visiting the gallery.