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27-02-2014 Restoration and gilding of an antique sundial

A few weeks ago I was approached to restore and gild an antique sundial. The sundial had been outside for decades, after which at first the gold leaf and then later the paint and even the ground layers were flaked off. The little 3D ornament of a unicorn, on top of the sundial, had been mounted by a previous restorer in not such a sophisticated way, and had fallen off because due to years of weather influences.

A thorough approach was needed to ensure that after my restoration the sundial would remain good, under Dutch weather conditions, for decades. This approach consisted of a complete removal of the old gold leaf layers and the several coats of paint. Step two was to restore the sundial. Since the sundial consists of various materials such as wrought iron, brass, zinc and iron, seperate treatments of each of these materials were needed to protect the object for the future. After applying several primers and coats of paint I could then apply high gloss cover paint systems. The last step was traditional gilding; a deliberate choice that fits well with the spirit of this ancient sundial.

The result is wonderful. The sundial can be the glorious centerpiece of any classically styled garden once more for  years to come.

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