NIKU har omfattende kunnskap om overflatebehandling, farger og dekor i gamle hus.

Architectural Paint Research

Investigating finishes and surfaces of Norway’s built heritage by tracing colours and decorative schemes.

Interiors and facades are subject to continuous change and alteration. They are being modernized and overpainted due to fashion, taste of the successive owners or simply routine maintenance.

Architectural Paint Research (APR) projects will reveal all finishes and surfaces, by making exposures of the paint layers and examine cross section from the original materials, to identify the so-called first colour scheme and all modernisations. It will locate, identify, interpret and date all finishes to create an overview of the historic development.

Paint layers under the microscopeMicrographs show the layered built up for each colour scheme. The use of materials, pigments and paint techniques can be recognised under the microscope.

A historic perspective helps to deepen general knowledge of the building history, it’s alterations, assess their condition, plan future work and help to make informed conservation decisions.

Finishes are applied to a wide range of substrate materials composed from wood, metal, plaster, natural stone, concrete, paper, textiles.

Wallpapers in-situWallpapers are often applied on top of each other. When these are separated, the historic development of an interiors can be traced back to its original appearance.
Reconstruction of an 18th century colour scheme (on a staircase)Reviving historic interiors by reconstructing their original colour scheme enhances the architectural quality of both the building and its interiors.

An APR projects is all about identifying (house-) paints, decorative and illusionistic paintings, tooling effects, stencilling, marbling, wood graining, gildings, metal leaves, varnishes and the use of wallpapers.

NIKU can investigate all kinds of buildings, interiors and objects, from 20th century modernistic buildings to medieval churches, from small dwellings to governmental buildings, from villas to military heritage, from royal palaces to cloisters and everything in between!

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See NIKUs map of architectural paint research projects in Norway (Click on full screen mode for search box):


More photos:

Exterior colour schemes (on a facade)
Exterior colour schemes (on a facade) Exterior house paints age differently depending their application and exposure to the weather. Repainting is required to keep the building protected. A new paint coat is in average applied, every decade, which often lead to changes to the previous colour scheme.
Interior colour schemes (on a wall)Stratigraphic exposures reveal the underlaying paint layer showing the painted history of a painted architectural elements like ceiling, wall, doors and floors.
Floor coveringsPlain floor boards, parquetry, linoleum, vinyl and paint coats applied on top of each other found in a 19th century interior.
Stratigraphic exposures (on a painted door)
Stratigraphic exposures (on a painted door)Stencilling, wood graining, marbling and monochrome paint layers can all be found when exposing consecutive paint layers.
Susanne Kaun

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