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Restoring the 18th Century mantel – Nick Garrett

May 4, 2013

Working for the leading fireplace gallery in Europe is something I really looked forward to having spent a great morning with the team one day little over a year ago.

I often do that… get a feeling and follow my intuition into places that yield wonderful working partnerships.

This mantle had a pedestal missing along with quite a lot of dings across its nicely crafted carvings.

First task was to stabilise the structural elements and this was done by resetting the struts and pilasters.

Casting came next and for this I used a simple press mould fashion with additional detailing and refinement.

Gold was applied over aged gesso and finally toned with several blends of umber and warm greys.

The secret is to make the piece look lovingly aged and not to over do the toning.  If the gold leaf matches well the toning really need only create the subtle patina of dust and grime – but it must never be heavy.

My particular style of restoration allows the delicate gilding to glow while remaining perfectly aged.

The history is never lost in the re-making.

Nick Garrett


To commission Nick email him at the following:


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