State of Washington: Walls / Ceiling

MPF Conservation restored the walls and ceiling of the State Of Washington Legislative Building after a flood.

The flood was from a broken water pipe, and the corrosive water caused damage to furniture, walls and the ceiling in two offices.

We repaired walls (shown left), ceiling and furniture damaged by the flood; this page will show walls and ceiling.

We are updating this page; please excuse our mess!

Making Shellac and Wax for the Project

MPFC makes a lot of our shellacs and waxes.

In this case we needed different color shellacs to match the walls, some of which faded.

The waxes were to plug holes in the walls.


The water that dripped through the pipes was not like rainwater; it had a corrosive that damaged the finishes and lifted them from the wood. The drips themselves were heavy and dried in big drops.

Our first step was to gently skip sand the wood until the damaged shellac was gone, but not to remove the base coats of color.

Color was built up in several coats over several trips. Once it was thick and stable, we buffed it with an abrasive to bring the sheen to match the adjacent walls.

Window Panel

Same process as the wainscoting, but in a narrower panel. Rather than remove the drapery, we carefully shellacked while holding it up!

Damaged Ceiling

The flood damaged the ceilings in the offices, and the corrosive water removed paint and undercoatings. Maintenance could not come in and simply spray it out. It was an odd project for us but within our capabilities.

MPFC assessed the ceilings and gave the crews directives which saved them some time; after they completed we followed up and patched and painted by hand the first coats of paint for a proper repair.