tion, we were able to cast four a day and
were rockin’ and rollin’. Tip: While replacing elements in kind, sometimes it’s
more cost effective and longer lasting to
use fiberglass, foam, or other materials.
The final process was to gold leaf most
of the reproduced elements and millwork, which was tedious but satisfying.
This process hasn’t changed very much,
and I felt like an old master working
100 years ago. (Okay, so we used spray
guns to apply the gold size and finish,
but still…). To conserve budget, we
suggested using Dutch metal, a more
affordable alloy, in lieu of real gold,
which created significant savings. It was
crucial to make these new elements ap-
pear antique, so after applying the leaf,
we added a patina and glaze to make
bright gold look burnished and aged.
From traditional millwork, carving,
mold making, casting in plaster and
composites, faux finishing, and gold
leafing, this and other architectural
projects always yield a different set of
challenges that keeps me on my toes
and helps me grow my knowledge base.
It’s also very gratifying to restore an
ancient wonder back to its original
grandeur and touch a piece of history.
I love to use traditional techniques
that are fast becoming a lost art, and
applying new ones that help the millwork and restoration industry. By using
a combination of woodworking, sculpture, and various alternative materials,
the restoration market is a viable niche
for skilled craftsmen. ;
Also available in twin
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To see Scott Grove working on the restoration of the Our Lady of Victory
Church, watch the video on your smart phone or go to