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Repainting a headstone in a churchyard

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Seymour, 21 Aug 2010.

  1. Seymour

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    I have been given permission to repaint the lettering an my relations dark marble headstone (30/40 years old) which has white lettering. Some has been totally removed by weathering but some still remains. should I remove the remaining lettering and start again or leave it? Is there a suitable paint for the job which is frost resistant as I am getting conflicting advice except not to use white gloss. I want to do the job as a mark of respect and not pass on to others.
    I appreciate it wont last for ever but it looks a mess as it is.
    Any stone masons out there with advice?
    Seymour
     
  2. Robbie uk

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    Anything you use will have to be weather resistant to an extent. Could you not ask at the funeral parlour where they do the head stones to see what type of paint they use. They say it has a life of around 10 to 15 years from new. Maybe an oil based exterior masonry paint ? Or some white car enamel.
     
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  3. TheDec

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    Seymour.

    I think that Robbie has with the best of intention tried to advise you with regard to the best approach.

    Your quest here! One of which you have my complete admiration for could vey well lead to disaster, the striking of lettering on any surface takes a great deal of experience and is far more envolved than obtaining both the correct writers and the correct product.

    We could delve here into such applications such as stoving and the like, all of which will be of little to no help to you. You need to seek both help and guidance from a monumental mason and hopefully fullfill your desire.

    I truly wish you the very best of luck regarding your quest, and further hope that you will be able to achieve your goal.

    Dec.
     
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  4. Robbie uk

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    If the headstone is made of polished granite, then i dont think the painting of it will prove too difficult. The lettering will already be carved out. A small artist brush to put the paint into the groove and a rag soaked in white spirit to wipe any excess of the surface should be suffice... its just finding the right paint.
     
  5. Seymour

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    Many thanks for that, I was intending to tackle it that way. I will check with a local stone mason and see if they are willing to pass on any secrets about what paint to use.
    I was in the building industry for over 45 years mostly as a Building Inspector. I learnt a long time ago that knowing and doing is not the same. I will post any answers later.
     
  6. Seymour

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    :D Got the answer to my problem of repainting the lettering on a churchyard headstone,
    Clean off and dry then use a primer.... a rust-oleum combiPrimer and a combicolor top coat colour.(I will be using gloss white)
    The trick is to start painting on the primer and a test dab on a lid or something, and keep checking till it gets tacky then restart with the top coat colour. this way the primer won't get time to attract dust etc from the air. which it does very easily, and will show how long it can be left before the top coat needs to be applied.
    The other trick is you don't not worry to much if you over paint the letters as the excess can be cut of with a sharp window scraper blade from the polished marble. ;)
     
  7. paulc7617

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    Fair play mate for sticking (no pun intended) to the task and finding the soloution,hope it last's for you.
     
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  8. bikeit

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    Seymour
    I have painted hundreds of grave stones for my late father as he was a stonemason all his life.
    I would firstly check the condition of the grave stone for small cracks weathering etc if all is well i would use some paint stripper to remove all the old paint, thoroughly washing the stone and allow to dry before applying undercoat, allow it to dry, apply the topcoat again allow it to dry for a few days and they remove the over painting from the stone with a good clean paint scraper when you remove most of the over paint wet the stone with clean water and keep the stone wet use fishbone to remove the remaining paint. put a plastic cover at the bottom of the grave stone to collect the paint scrapings. job done.

    BTW you can buy fishbone from a local pet supplies store.
     
  9. Seymour

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    Work done and looks fine, will try the fishbone cleaning next time I'm there as the travel distances meant I had to finish in the day so cutting of had to be done after 3 hours.... thank again. Seymour
     

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