Sign Conservation & Restoration

Sign Conservation & Restoration

There are two distinct approaches to preserving the past; conservation, where the original work is consolidated as invisibly and sympathetically as possible, and restoration, where the work is put back to its original condition when new to show how it was meant to be seen.

Conservation is particularly suitable for rare work, where to lose an original dock painter’s scene in a boatman’s cabin would be quite tragic, or where the original work is not damaged beyond recognition and is important to preserve. Museums and galleries often favour conservation wherever possible,  where authenticity and originality is more important than day to day use and function.

Conservation skills include gentle cleaning and removal of old varnish, ‘invisible’ mends to harden and fill damaged wood, colour matching of paint layers and re-varnishing to protect the original work. Detailed records are also kept when undertaking this type of work to clearly show the piece’s history and treatment.


Restoration is a way of keeping the past alive and showcasing our stunning heritage and craft skills, some of which are becoming all too rare. Original work is re-created, often to be used as it was meant to be, whether it be a horse drawn carriage repainted in its original livery, or a railway station sign given a new lease of life with new lettering.

We are proud to use ‘Craftmaster’ paints (made in England) which are superb quality, traditional coach enamels. These offer an extremely high pigment content and excellent durability for use on vehicles, boats and all manner of other applications!