Statue Restoration

I hope we are not too far afield to contact you regarding our
project. If so, and if possible, please refer us to a more appropos

We are restoring a statue of the Holy Family for our parish. The
artist is T. Marques, Barcelona, Espana; date on statue 1928. It
appears to be a molded plaster statue which used a combination of
oil-based paints and 23K liquid gold on the garments. Someone later
air-brushed the entire statue with acrylic paints. In removing the
acrylic paint to bring it back to the original, we are unfortunately
removing some of the gold too.

  1. Is there a better way to remove this without further damage to
    the gold?;

  2. Where do we find 23K liquid gold to reapply to the damaged areas?

  3. What is the best way to proceed in applying the liquid gold?

If you value the statue send it to a competent professional
restorer! Don’t touch it any further! Tony Konrath

There is a good chance that your 23-kt is from “gilding” not from
"liquid" gold- sheets of very very very thin gold metal attached via
adhesive. Look through the search engines under “medieval,
illuminations, scribes, gilding” for more I won’t say
it is easily re-applied but the technique is well-known. Afraid I
can’t help with the paint restoration part. Betsy Marshall (metal art
student of many interests)

While I’m not a ceramicist, but have done some calligraphy, the gold
is most likely 23 K. gold leaf, which is still available today in
sheet or patent form; from better art stores or online. Do not buy
composite gold leaf, as it’s not real gold, but is used for picture
frame gold leafing.

The gold leaf is applied using a sizing, and burnished onto the
surface. If you are removing overall paint, you probably cannot
easily remove it without removing the gold leaf as well, depending on

However, due to the age of the piece, I agree with the other list
member… contact a qualified restorer or museum before further
damage is done to the piece that may be irreversible.
Good luck, Marsha Greene