Update on Vaucluse House conservation works


After several busy weeks at Vaucluse House, we have moved into the next phase of our conservation works.

Painting work

The most challenging stage of the project is complete – the painting of the entrance hall and upper hall. This required the removal of the collection on both levels, and the installation of extensive scaffolding to access the high walls and ceilings. After thorough preparation and several coats, the painting of these areas is complete. The scaffolding has now been removed and the collection returned, allowing access to the upper floors again.

With its fresh coat of paint, the entrance hall feels grander and more impressive, and Fitzwilliam’s room in the upper hall is finally back to normal after multiple stages of work to rectify water damage to the cornice and plaster, and is now painted.

Plaster work

The plaster work inside the house is also progressing well. Lime plaster, based on a traditional recipe, requires a slow curing (drying) period before it can be painted. This type of work can look a bit messy and unfinished, but lime plaster requires patience, and we won’t repaint until it is completely cured.

What’s next?

The next phase of the maintenance project will see the smaller bedroom corridors painted, as well as the dining room ceiling. The concentration and complexity of collection in this space, including many Wentworth provenanced objects, requires careful planning in order to relocate and safely store. Working around a chandelier and over the original tiled floor presents complications not normally encountered in painting projects, so the curatorial team will work with our painting team to ensure the room is protected.

Keep updated

While these works will be disruptive for the next few weeks in what is usually such an immersive 19th century property, this work is vital in the on-going preservation and presentation of this important colonial home.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

If you would like more details please contact us by phone: 02 9388 7922 (10am-4pm) or email: vauclusehouse@slm.com.au

About the Author

Woman standing in front of colourful mural.
Mel Flyte
Assistant Curator
City Museums Portfolio
Mel relishes the opportunity to get hands-on with the treasures in our collection.

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