Wall paintings have become treasured features where they survive in our historic churches. They were a simple and effective means of decoration in churches from the Middle Ages onwards. Although most were painted over in a later period, as taste and theology changed in favour of plain walls, medieval churches may still have rare wall paintings hidden under layers of paint.
The preferred method of wall painting in Britain was 'mezzo fresco' or 'lime painting' where paint is applied to recently applied plaster which bonds the pigments as it sets. The painting becomes part of the wall finish, so keeping wall paintings in good condition depends on effective maintenance of the building.
This section will help you identify the signs of damage to wall paintings and understand the causes of damage. You will also find practical maintenance tips and guidance on how to address the conservation needs of historic objects.