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With hundreds of buildings, structures, and fences on our thirty-six historic sites, Historic New England is constantly painting. In June 2009, the Property Care team created a Paint Task Force (PTF) to determine the best method of preparing and painting surfaces in order to promote longevity. This effort dovetails not only with our dedication to preservation but also with our commitment to fiscal responsibility.
One of the first PTF actions was to focus on painting four sets of bulkhead doors already scheduled for replacement. Bulkheads provide a great opportunity to test different types of paint within the exact same climate – comparing a latex primer on one door to an oil primer on the other, for example. On Wednesday, June 9, the fourth bulkhead was installed at Barrett House, completing the initial set. The PTF recognizes that results will take years, but by creating the framework for documentation and monitoring, Historic New England will be well-positioned to draw conclusions in the years to come.