Thursday, September 2, 2010

☞ REVIVE: Restoring Brownstone Facades

We walked by 66 West 120th Street a couple of weeks back and noticed that the facade was getting restored in a couple of ways. The front stoop end posts were wrapped in plastic with a "danger, do not touch, chemical" sign displayed prominently. Power washing with a high pressure water hose is often the method used by contractor but we are guessing since this oftentimes blast away layers of the stone surface, this might not be a good option for detailed carvings on a 100 year old townhouse. So chemical strippers are often used and the thick, paste work the best for dense layers of paint (these are very caustic and can burn skin in seconds). The issue with chemical stripping is that they dry out, harden and are thus rendered useless in a few hours so the plastic wrap helps keep the moisture in for hours longer. The stoop stairs apparently are receiving the grey scratch coat that will be the base for the brownstone coat that will be added on later. The landmark house appears to have been purchased a couple of years back and was converted from a 4-family into a 2-family building. Photos by Ulysses

1 comment:

  1. Great story, this contractor seems to know what he is doing, I should stop by and see this quality work for myself. When finished, there is nothing so pleasing to the eye as a crisply refaced brownstone façade.