Conservation and Restoration of Fine Furniture and Objects
Polychrome Surface Conservation
Oriental table top before conservation
Oriental table top after conservation
Example of a side table top before and after conservation. As seen, the surface was cleaned and a thin layer of shellac restored depth of color and contrast.

Leather screen panel
Polychrome leather screen before conservation

Hand-painted, paneled leather screen. For the most thorough work possible, the piece was treated in a collaborative effort between Bernacki & Associates and Parma Conservation, returning the piece to its original structure and dramatic color scheme.

Polychrome surfaces are widely enjoyed for their vivid color and artistry. Polychrome is created by layering multiple materials – paint, gesso, varnish, or even metallic gilding – atop a foundation for an attractive laminated effect. Coincidentally, the interplay of materials that gives polychrome its beauty can be an equal factor in its deterioration. Over time, interaction between materials and their base can cause unforeseen incompatibility. Differing qualities of material result in various reactions to temperature and humidity. Loss of polychrome integrity can also come from everyday activity - accidental mishandling, poor storage, or simple wear and tear.

Bernacki & Associates combines the skill and necessary knowledge to return polychrome surfaces to their original vibrancy. Understanding of material composition is crucial, and conservation or restoration treatment begins with detailed analysis of subtle properties in both decoration material and substrate base. Flaking paint or lifting layers are stabilized, cleaned, and restored with an expert hand. As with all forms of decorative art, Bernacki & Associates examines and restores the surfaces for prior problematic restoration to avert further deterioration.