Old South Meetinghouse: Wood Paneling and Paint Conservation

Old South Meetinghouse: Wood Paneling and Paint Conservation

Grade changes made to an adjoining T station entrance had diverted water against the exterior wall of the Church. This saturated the brick and mortar, and subsequently the wood paneling and bench seating against the wall. The result was peeling paint and rotting of the bench sills, which led to separation of panels from their frames and other types of damage. This historic wood paneling conservation was also complicated by the fact that they had been repaired several times and were made up of bits and pieces of panels from other locations. While these panels were probably not original, some may have come from the reconstruction of the church interior, which was destroyed by the British during the occupation of Boston in 1775-6.

The specifications did not call for the use of epoxies, so all repairs were restored using "dutchman" type repairs, applied to preserve and strengthen the surviving panels. Once these repairs were complete, the sections were transported to the Meetinghouse for installation and painting.

Click on images below to enlarge.