Specialist Decorations Team | Historic & Heritage Painting Services

Specialist Decorations

Hankinson Painting Group have extensive experience in a wide range of traditional painting and restoration techniques. Using these techniques, our Specialist Decorations Team can both create and conserve decorations.

Historic Interiors

Our most accessed service within specialist decoration is for the restoration and conservation of historic interiors. Often these involve a combination of surfaces including paint, mosaic, stone and gilding. We use traditional techniques with modern materials to restore to the highest standard and ensure the finish will last for many years to come.

Key Techniques

Water Gilding

While typically used on furniture, this is occassionally found on some architecture. Water gilding involves layering gesso which is carved and flattened until the surface is hardened and shiny. Gold leaf is then applied to the damp gesso and this is drawn in. Once dried, the gold is burnished to create a stunning finish.

Oil Gilding

As the most common technique used for gilding, we are frequently asked to restore interiors that have extensive oil gilded interiors. The surface that is to be gilded is carefully prepared and then gold leaf is applied to the slightly adhesive surface. The gilder generates a small static charge in the bristles of his tool and this is used to pick-up the gold leaf. A long handled brush is then used to loosen excess flecks of leaf and then the gold is polished to a perfect finish.

Trompe l'Oeil

A trick of the eye is the literal translation from French of Trompe l'Oeil - they are painted illusions which deceive the viewer. These intricately painted decorations have been popular since Renaissance and they help create a sense of space and light to enhance architecture.

Lime & Gypsum Plaster Conservation

Decorative plasters are often at high risk of degrading.  We undertake projects to clean, reinstate and also remodel plaster using traditional moulding and casting techniques. New materials are often used to improve the lifetime and integrity of the work.


Marbling is the effect of creating marble using paint (despite marble being readily available). Marbling is a complex process as it involves creating depth and translucency by building up layers of precisely graded pigments. Painted marble offers the advantage of being consistently toned in comparison to natual marble.