Mission

SERRA CHAPEL CONSERVATION PROJECT

Serra Chapel Entrance Hall Conservation and Finishes Stabilization

Serra Chapel Entranceway

Mission San Juan Capistrano awarded the contract to conserve the decorative wall finishes in the Serra Chapel to May Painting Conservation, a group of paintings conservators headed by Debra May and Rachel Burch. The first phase of this project entailed the conservation of the entranceway to the chapel, seen here before work began.


Serra Chapel Ceiling

The conservation team cleaning the painted ceiling with distilled water.


Before

After

Before After

The ceiling was cracked and unstable in areas. Here, the sagging plaster between the wooden beams was stabilized and an old repair and cracks were inpainted to reinstate the decoration.

Before

After

Before After

Several areas of the walls and ceiling had been overpainted with inappropriate colors in the past.

Before

After

Before After
In this severely damaged area of the chapel, many areas of the paint layer were flaking away from the wall and several quite large areas had been completely lost. Repainting in the past using unsuitable colors had further spoiled its appearance. In this part of the wall and above, the plaster itself was also coming away from the wall.

Special repair mortars and adhesives were used to stabilize the plaster and paint layers, and new paint, in a reversible medium, was applied by the conservation team where the original was lost.

Before

After

Before After
The underside of the doorway into the Serra Chapel suffered from cracking of the supporting plaster, and was disfigured by dirt and earlier patchy repainting.
N wall.

Serra Chapel South Wall

Cleaning included the removal of natural accumulations of dust, grime and cobwebs, but also a number of pencil marks as well as traces of candle wax.
South wall, partially cleaned.


Cracking plaster, and flaking and missing original plaster and paint were stabilized and new, reversible paints applied where needed by the conservation team.
E wall, SE corner of Entrance Hall.

Serra Chapel Main Doorway

Flaking paint was carefully reattached using a conservation-grade adhesive, to preserve as much of the original paint scheme as possible.
N wall, main doorway into the Serra Chapel.






Donate Online

By mail, download donation form and mail with your gift:

Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation Funds
26801 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

For questions, please call Barb Beier at (949) 234-1323 or email bbeier@missionsjc.com
Mission San Juan Capistrano
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