Inside the Eustis Estate, an unusual use for duct tape

Nov 18, 2016

It turns out you really can use duct tape to fix anything.

After months of testing and research, a team from International Fine Art Conservation Studios (IFACS) began restoring historic paint finishes at the Eustis Estate (1878) in Milton, Massachusetts, last week.

In the large parlor of the William Ralph Emerson-designed mansion, the team is removing a single layer of modern latex paint using duct tape. Duct tape easily removes the top layer of paint to reveal the original Eustis Estatenineteenth-century decorative paint treatment of amber clouds on the walls.

Once the top layer of paint is removed, members of the IFACS team will use restorative techniques to fill in areas of paint loss, then add a protective varnish layer over the top. The result will be a striking example of the house’s vibrant original interior design.

This project is part of Historic New England’s work to transform the Eustis Estate into a museum and study center, opening to the public in May 2017.

Learn more about the Eustis Estate Museum and Study Center.