Completed headstone inscription repair
Here is another headstone inscription repair that we recently completed. In this case the inscription had been painted black and, over time, all the paint had worn away leaving only the engraved lettering in the marble headstone.
The engraved inscription was in very good condition so it responded very well to our repair process which involved cleaning the marble, masking the areas around the lettering, applying a polyester adhesive to fill the engraved lettering and finally sanding off the excess to reveal the inscription.
These steps are described in the photos below and also in this post .
Original headstone with difficult to read lettering due to faded paint infill
The area around the lettering is masked off for ease of sanding
The polyester adhesive filler is applied to the inscription with a spatula
Sanding back the polyester adhesive filler with wet’n’dry abrasive paper
Repaired headstone lettering
All too often the final resting place of our loved ones succumb to the ravishes of time resulting in the need for headstone lettering repair. The headstone letters of this particular grave had been repaired in the past however the job was not up to scratch and the letters had deteriorated again.
We have found that the best solution to approach this type of repair is to fill the voids of the letters with a polyester adhesive filler. This adheres firmly to the base stone and is unaffected by temperature variations and water resulting in a long lasting repair.
You can see in the pictures below how the black paint used in the first repair attempt has dried and peeled away from many of the letters. The first step in the repair was to remove all the old paint in the headstone inscription.
The flaking headstone lettering before the repair
Detail of headstone letters before repair
Lettering cleaned and masked
Letters filled with polyester adhesive filler
Sanding back the polyester filler
Refurbished headstone lettering
As long as the base stone is in good condition and the letter shapes are clean an excellent result can be achieved. More examples of similar repairs can be found in this post .
Restored creek bridge
The wooden creek bridge
at right was deteriorating due to screws corroding, moss and lichen growth on the timber and the general effects of weathering over the years. Most of the screws securing the foot planks of the creek bridge
had almost corroded away leaving many of the planks loose and unsafe. It was going to take more than a cosmetic coat of paint to make it look any good.
Restoration of the creek bridge
The creek bridge was completely dismantled for the restoration and each piece was individually cleaned, filled, sealed and painted. Located in a very damp location, with the likelihood of future submersion through flooding, the main support poles were treated with water repellent to offer further protection. To prevent future corrosion of the securing screws all wooden parts were secured on reassembly with stainless steel decking screws. For additional protection all screws heads were filled and sanded to eliminate recesses for water to accumulate in the bridge structure.
Bridge before restoration
Not long after the restoration all the preventative measures done to the bridge to ensure a long, maintenance free life were put to the test during some heavy rain.
Was a good thing to choose stainless steel screws to secure the planks of the bridge.
Refurbished headstone lettering
One of the more unusual projects tackled recently was to repair headstone lettering on an old grave. The completed project is shown in the photo on the right. The inscription had been engraved into the headstone marble in a Gothic font and the letters, made from lead, were fastened into place by two small pins drilled into the bottom of each letter cavity and held in place with glue. Over the years the glue had deteriorated and oxidation had taken its toll on the lead resulting in many of the letters falling out or being lost resulting in the need for headstone repair.
Repair headstone procedure
Replacement lead lettering was no longer available. To repair headstone lettering that had been lost required a new technique to be developed as an alternative. Painting in the letters with black paint was quickly discarded as it looked terrible because of the difficulty in getting the fine serifs on the lettering.
Black polyester adhesive filler was finally chosen and used to fill the voids left by the missing lead letters. Once cured the filler was carefully sanded back with very fine wet’n’dry to reveal the engraved letters underneath. The picture below illustrates the process and shows how the headstone looked before the repair.
Replacing missing letters with black polyester adhesive filler