A key element in the restoration of Montpelier’s exterior was discovering the color the ca. 1812 trim was painted. The exterior trim is a major architectural element and how it is painted often affects how the whole house is perceived by visitors. Luckily for the Restoration Team much of the ca. 1812 exterior woodwork survived intact even though multiple renovations and additions were made to Montpelier. More amazingly, for some elements, such as the cornice on the ca. 1764 section or the ca. 1764 window that lit the ca. 1764 Dining Room closet, the paint history survived from ca. 1764 all the way to the present. The only problem was that all of the paint layers were trapped under many layers of later paint. Furthermore, the fact that each individual paint layer was microscopically thin made the process of recovering the Madison-era paint color even more difficult.
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