Good Questions: Preserving Fresco?

Good Questions: Preserving Fresco?

Maxwell Ryan
Oct 28, 2004

Hi Apartment Therapy!

I'm moving into an apartment in an old townhouse, and the previous tenants partially uncovered a really nice wall painting under years of paint. I don't think it's a true fresco, but it is a sort of trompe l'oeil of architectural detail and I'd like to preserve it.

I'm also sure it was painted with lead paint, so I also want to seal it. It's in a hallway, so there is not very much direct light. I've gotten conflicting advice as to whether to shellack it, put acrylic on it, paint or spray, and one woman even suggested special UV protection.

My web searches on this have been really unhelpful. Do you know where I might look for some good advice?
Thanks so much,


We have sealed many paintings, but never paintings on walls, but with both you really should test a small portion of the wall with whatever you try - and we would try a few things - to make sure it doesn't lift, smear or discolor your wall. Without knowing anything else, we would recommend painting a clear acrylic latex on it that is water soluable. (Thanks, Christie!) MGR

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