Restoring cornice detail on a 19th Century property in Chiswick


Every day in London we pass by houses from different eras.  Like most Londoners we like to help preserve the variety on view, so we welcomed the challenge of a current project in Chiswick.

The area has a fine mix of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties, much of it built in the 19thCentury as the population grew by 10 times. Chiswick in this period developed from being a popular country retreat (it was originally a fishing village) to a full-grown suburb of the capital.

Redecorating houses of this age can be done badly, but it is well worth the effort to do it properly. Apart from anything else, it enhances market value.

The wooden window surrounds on our project featured a very complex cornice molding, 10 inches tall and containing scrolls, lumps, and lambs-tongues. The wood had not been well-protected and the main 3-metre section was suffering badly from rot.

Unusually, the entire molding sections were done from one piece of wood, and we doubted that we would find a supplier to replicate it. The alternative would be to build up a new molding from several pieces. Although this would have been hard to spot, it wasn’t entirely satisfactory.

After some effort, we did find a carpenter with the equipment and skill to produce an exact match from a single plank, and were able to do a complete like-for-like restoration.

Original protection would have been with lead-based paints. These are of course now unavailable, but Dulux Weathershield achieves a comparable lifespan with no health or environmental hazard when properly applied to the manufacturers specification.

We have had the pleasure of decorating properties from all ages in London, new and old. If you are considering redecorating, we would welcome the opportunity to visit you and offer a quotation.

With best regards
Marlon Bulger
Managing Director
Bulger Wicks