Grace Episcopal of Lexington repainted the old fashioned way

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) – Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington looks pretty good now with new shrine and paint, but until renovation …

“It was a church that was very dark,” church member Pat Gibson said.

Before all this work, the walls were an aging white.

“The 1930s, when the sanitary period is what they called it, and they painted with white paint,” said Gibson, also the church’s historical painting consultant.

It hid the original 1880s decorative woodwork, hand painted some 140 years ago.

Why not take it back, at least behind the altar?

“We say, well, we’re just going to fill in there,” Gibson recalls, “and so once you start filling in right there, like in a coloring book, you realize you have to fill in more. . “

And more, and more.

“So once they moved the organ, I went back over there with my tools and started chipping and scraping the paint,” Gibson said, “and found that it was was a completely different border than what was on the side wall. “

The colors of the designs have been carefully matched to the stencil used to paint them, but it’s not that simple.

“And the hardest part is you have to wait for each section to dry,” Gibson says, “because you could mess everything up by moving it around before it’s ready. “

But, as difficult as it is, there is still a lot of church to go.

“And we’ll go down the side walls. That’s the plan, ”Gibson said.

And a lot of support for the job.

“And everyone who’s seen it just wants to do more,” Gibson said. “So we’ll see where he goes. “

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