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To retrieve the Madison-era finishes, paint samples were taken from surviving Madison-era elements and analyzed by a paint conservator.  Dr. Susan Buck, the paint conservator who did a majority of the paint analysis at Montpelier, analyzed the finish history of Montpelier by taking a small sample from each element, mounting it in polyester resin, and then polishing the sample to expose its full stratigraphy.  If the sample was intact then it was photographed using a camera mounted to a microscope.   To identify the exact color of the ca. 1812 paint layers a colorimeter was used.


A photomicrograph of a paint sample taken from the surviving ca. 1764 window.