October 2016


A condition assessment and on-site works were conducted on the Newtown School of Arts Members Honor Roll and the Newtown School of Arts 1916 Life Members Roll. The matching pair of rolls was constructed of carved and coated Queensland Maple and are located in the school’s main foyer. The primary goals of treatment were to clean both honour rolls, to enhance the readability of the lettering, and to improve the overall visual appearance of the boards.

An initial condition assessment was done on-site by principal conservator Eoin O’Sullivan to determine the necessary scope of the treatment. While both honour rolls were structurally sound, areas of overpaint and graffiti, discolored lacquer, missing areas of moulding, paint losses to the lettering, and minor losses to the wood detracted from the general aesthetic and exposed the rolls to further deteriorating agents. Restoration of the original appearance and reduction of deterioration risks to the object therefore required the following treatment steps:

  • Surface cleaning to remove accumulated dust and grime, including detail work on carved embellishments
  • Manual removal of overpaint
  • Structural reinforcement
  • Reattachment of detached moulding
  • Fabrication, color matching, and installation of missing moulding
  • Filling of losses to wood with pigmented wax
  • Mechanical sharpening of lettering, consolidation of lettering paint, and inpainting of losses
  • Burnishing of existing lacquer
  • Surface waxing

Additionally, several treatment steps were incorporated during restoration:

  • Localized mechanical removal of darkened lacquer
  • Visual reduction of graffiti through manual cleaning
  • Stabilization of loose wall mountings

The conservation treatment of the two honor rolls was undertaken in-situ to minimise costs for the client.

The school was provided with a recommended maintenance program as well as advice for future conservation.


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O'Sullivan Conservation we provide expert conservation and preservation services that maintain and sustain cultural heritage. If you have a question about a project, give us a call on 0419 380 065 or alternatively fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you promptly.

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O’Sullivan Conservation acknowledges that we operate and function on the lands of the Darkinjung people.

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