WATCH: AHS Historic Paint Analysis Explained

At AHS, we have refined our proprietary paint analysis methods utilising a mix of historical research, photographic analysis, paint samples, and microscopic analysis. Here our Senior Heritage Consultant, Julia Pritchard, talks about what goes into the complex process. 

We often find as many as 20 coats of paint on old buildings, so microscopic analysis is a more accurate way to distinguish between undercoats, primers, and finishing coats.  

It is also important to collect a range of samples from different areas of a structure, aiming for more undisturbed areas of paint, to accurately analyse the original colour scheme.  

“We target key areas of a building for investigation. We can look at the outside of a building, the interior of a building, and we’ve even done some Coat of Arms previously,” Julia says. 

The proprietary AHS methods allow us to establish colour (hues and tones), consistency, thickness, and weathering, before classifying each identifiable layer with a contemporary AS2700 colour equivalent.  

“When we are conserving old buildings, we want to conserve them and keep them in as original condition as possible and part of that is keeping their traditional colour schemes,” Julia says. 

We have even been able to use AI-driven software to accurately recolour black-and-white photos of heritage buildings, after establishing original paint colour and type. 

Historical Paint Analysis is a specialty area we are proud to have pioneered here at AHS, retaining heritage buildings for future generations to enjoy. 

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