Explore | Church Restoration

A few days ago, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go restore a church. She said that she had gone once and had spent the day chipping plaster off the walls and that the next thing on the list of things to do was to get the paint off the doors and to apply new coats of stain to various things in the church. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the light. There were four stained glass windows on each wall. They were simple in design but still splashed the floors with multicolored light. Well, the floors and the scaffolding and this bucket of all-purpose something or other.

The second thing I noticed was the dust. Granted, we were in what was almost a demolition zone but it still surprised me; every step you took sent a puff of dust and grime up around your feet. The original statues were kept in one of the side rooms - I'm assuming it formerly served as the sacristy - and even though a few of them did need some repair (think missing fingers and chipped crowns) they were still beautiful. 

There was also a bell tower. The ladder going up to the loft directly under the bell looked to be about 100 years old and decidedly unsafe. So naturally, I went up it. I didn't actually climb into the loft as upon closer inspection it seemed to be little more than a thick piece of plywood so I rang the bell from the ladder (and sent my lens cap flying into the dirty pile of scrap wood below me).

Don't be fooled by the photos - I spent most of my time at the church applying coat after coat of thick, goopy paint remover to one side of one door and scraping it off, hoping in vain that the paint would come with it. Eventually I did figure out the secret to successfully getting all four(!) layers of paint off after I got distracted and abandoned my work for around 30 minutes. It came off in ribbons and I had most of the door done in hardly any time at all.

M and D hard at work. D spent the entire time scraping paint off of the board above her head. "Michelangelo must have had the world's hugest shoulders!" 

N also brought a camera. I photographed him while he was photographing. 

Estimated date of completion is in February of 2017.