Posts Tagged "Historic Restoration"

Perfecting Faux Finishes Every Time

June 2, 2014

Some of the oldest architecture in the world remains some of the most beautiful. The meticulous care and restoration processes that we use to restor historic homes helps preserve that heritage and workmanship. Europe is full of historic homes, monasteries, and castles that have been well preserved throughout the ages. Some of the preservation work is absolutely overwhelming. We can reproduce some of the paint and stone finishes to nearly flawless replicas using today’s technology.

Faux Leather Wallpaper

Leather wallpaper became popular in the 1700s in Europe. The hand-made leathers were intricately designed and represented a workmanship and skill that very few people possess today. The cost to reproduce leather wallpaper would be extremely high, and out of the range of the average homeowner. Fortunately, we have the ability to reproduce the look without the cost.

Intricate Woodwork

Historic homes are usually full of intricate woodwork like crown molding, window sills, furnishings, and staircase banisters. Our expert woodworkers and carpenters work diligently and patiently to restore or replicate the original woodwork in the historic homes we restore. We always strive to restore the original woodwork in historic homes.

Painted Ceilings

Some of the most impressive paintings ever painted have been on the ceiling. Consider the paintings on the ceilings of Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Sistine Chapel for example. We don’t claim to have the talent to reproduce something so incredible, but faux finishes and paintings on the ceiling are absolutely within our scope of expertise. Check out our faux painting work.

Historic Restoration in Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT

Our area is full of historic homes which have been restored and renovated. We’re proud to say that we’ve helped restore and renovate hundreds of historic homes with great success. Our carpenters and contractors have the experience necessary to create the perfect restoration, including faux paint finishes as needed. The carpenters here at Gerety Building and Restoration utilize some of the same techniques that woodworkers used in the original building of these homes.

We specialize in restoring historic homes using the best cleaners and restoration techniques. Many people dive head first into historic renovation with the idea that today’s modern cleaners are okay for antique finishes. They quickly learn that most of today’s cleaners are too harsh, and create more problems than they solve.

Don’t go blindly into restoring or renovating a historic home. Take the time to research the era in which your historic home was built. This will go a long way in helping you choose how to restore, and whether you want to renovate it to be more modern.

If you live in the Westchester, NY or Fairfield, CT area and own a historic home that you’re considering restoring to its original beauty, give us a call to discuss your project at (914) 248-1300.

Restoring an Historic Home? Don’t Make These Critical Mistakes

April 12, 2014

The Northeast is full of beautiful historic structures. Some are homes, some are businesses, and some are simply standing empty. Westchester, NY and Fairfield, CT are home to some of the most beautiful historic structures in the country. Restoring these old buildings isn’t always easy, and I’ve seen my fair share of botched jobs by people who aren’t familiar with proper historic restoration techniques.


The very first step in the restoration process is inspection. Inspect all areas to ensure structural integrity. Don’t go into an historic restoration job as a rush job to be gotten out of the way. The safety of the structure as well as those working on it must be taken into consideration first and foremost.

Clean Properly

Once you’re certain the structure is safe and the inspection has been completed, begin cleaning. Don’t use harsh chemicals unless absolutely necessary. Older structures may be damaged by some of today’s harsh chemical cleaners. Never attempt cleaning a surface you’re unfamiliar with until you do some research. Otherwise you may cause serious damage to a timeless item in the home.

Lead paint removal must follow safety guidelines. Never attempt to remove lead paint without fully understanding the process. Structures painted before the mid 1970s likely contain lead paint, and must be handled properly.

Removing finishes from masonry and wood requires a delicate hand. Don’t chip or sand surfaces using power tools, as these processes create deep marks that are visible once the project is complete. Make sure you use the proper techniques for cleaning and removing finishes.

Use Quality Materials

Not all materials are created equal. Choose quality materials over their cheap counterparts. Historic structures weren’t built using cheap or low quality materials; they should never be restored using them either. Poor quality materials show wear more quickly than high quality materials. Choosing to use cheaper, lower quality materials will result in repeat repairs in the long run.

Don’t Mix and Match

Flooring, walls, steps, finishes, and mortar may need to be replaced. Don’t just guess and use what “looks right” before doing your research. You may end up choosing something that does more damage than good.

Poor Design

Repairs must often be made to historic homes. Poorly designed and implemented repairs cause damage over time. Don’t rush headlong into an historic restoration project. Learn all you can before you begin so the finished product will be as incredible as the original. The purpose of restoring an historic home is, in part, to restore the original beauty. The structural integrity must not be compromised in the process.

Call an Expert

I’m not saying call me specifically, but please get expert help if you aren’t familiar with historic restoration techniques. These buildings have stood for decades and deserve the meticulous care that an expert restoration company can provide. Help preserve the aesthetic value as well as the historic value of these structures by making the right choices along the way.

Historic Home Restoration

June 30, 2011
  • Stripped paint from antique sash window, to make it operable.
  • Replaced Rotted Wood all around the house with new composite decay-free material.
  • Removed old cracked weathered putty and replaced it with new weather resistant glaze.
  • Replaced old cracked glass with Restoration Glass which is made to look like old glass.

We are also in the process of restoring the front porch as well.