Patriotic Jumper Horse, Jantzen Beach Carousel, 3

MPF Conservation assessed the Jantzen Beach Carousel in 2018, and subsequently treated two horses and several decorative objects from the carousel.

This is page three on the carousel restoration treatment of “White Patriotic Corn Jumper XL” (hereafter called Patriotic) from the Jantzen Beach Carousel.

Note: Throughout MPFC may switch from flash to non-flash images,
because we are trying to show the best image of the treatment.
Videos to recap the processes are located at the bottom of this page, and on Vimeo.

After breaks were repaired, we moved to detailing and finish restoration.


The teeth and mouth were detailed. Past layers of paint and overcoating filled in the definition of the teeth. Mitchell cleared the build-up and where necessary, carved stronger delineation, above.

The entire process of painting the mouth is shown as an example, above: from before the restoration began, image one-two; to paint removal, image three; to delineation/carving, image four-five; to after finish is completed, image seven, left.

Above, a video about the detailing process. We have dozens of videos on Patriotic’s restorative processes on Vimeo; feel free to browse!

Mitchell delineated clogged carvings previously filled in with layers of finish, above.

Many gemstones were pitted and scratched, which made them dull and lifeless.

Gemstones were polished using a felt Dremel wheel lubricated with a glass polishing compound, shown right.

During the last restoration sticky-backed vinyl stars were used instead of paint, top left. These did not last, fragmented, and they also looked strange on the painted horse.

Underneath the vinyl stars the relief carving of the original stars could still be seen.

MPFC removed the sticky stars, cleaned the residue from the painted surface in order to prep the flags for new painted silver stars.

There were several areas where large chunks of carving were missing, obvious accidents. There was no way while working within our budget to restore damaged carving.

MPFC smoothed and detailed these areas so they were unobtrusive.


Once all breaks were repaired and small details attended to, we moved to the finish.

We chose oil paint because unlike acrylic, it can stand up to decades of hard use and washing. Over the years the historic paints used on the carousel were oil or jappan paint. Additionally, oil paint pigments are more robust and do not look synthetic.

We used Gamblin Artist Color’s “1980 Oil Colors“, which have good pigment coverage but are not as expensive as fine art oil paints. Kate had previous experience with the 1980 line on Mason Monterey furniture and was very happy with the results, both during the painting process and long term wear.

Additionally, it saved on having to mix many colors, because Gamblin already offered many of the colors necessary for the project.

The top layer of paint needed to be removed and grain lifted for the fresh coats to adhere.

As stated on other pages, MPFC does not support dip stripping due to the damage dipping causes. We hand sanded Patriotic to remove the layers we needed to remove, shown above.

In the case of the saddle, it also allowed us to see the layers of color used.

After hand-sanding Patriotic, above and below.

Patriotic was sanded and ready for finish to begin, above.

To begin, one to two coats of gesso were applied to prep the surface for the paint, shown right. The number of coats was determined by the feel of the surface.

Notice the pink nostrils? The pink paint was never able to be removed, and kept creeping through every layer of undercoating we applied. Fortunately the nostrils would once again be pink!

Kate mixed the thick 1980 Oil paints with Galkyd for fluidity, above, and filled empty tubes with the paint. She did this for each color used in bulk: Red, Blue, Yellow, Tan.

Coat applications were planned both from a drying standpoint, and in layers where they would not touch each other while wet.

We began with two layers of white oil paint. Many horses were bright white, not cream or off-white, and Patriotic was among them. Researching historic images also supported the fact that many hoses were bright white. Many people thought the horses were a cream color, but that was due to the overcoating of the amber deck varnish.

Drying time was two to three days between coats, and increased as layers became thicker. Drying time is not curing time, which takes quite a bit longer; drying time means dry enough that we can pull a brush across the finish without marring the surface.

With the second coat of white we added the tan undercolor of the saddle, above.

The next layers were bright yellow undercoats for the corn cantle, and red for the saddle and blanket trims, above.

Next were second layers of yellow, pink for the mouth and nostrils, cobalt blue and silver.


It was at this time Mitchell completed the long tedious repair of the tail, and brought it to attach to Patriotic. The tail was gessoed, allowed to dry, and two coats of white paint were applied to bring it to the same finish level as the rest of Patriotic.

The next bits of color occurred after five days of drying, and were completed over two days. The saddle was painted differently: first with cobalt then a coat of red the next day while slightly wet, to be highly textural.

Second coats of cobalt, green, and what was to appear as hammered gold followed. The latter was applied thickly using a trowel on the flat button surfaces, and in a textural manner by brush. The gold was to look hammered.

Four days later the hooves were painted silver over blue-black, and the corn was further delineated by painting and wiping color so only bits of the raisin brown remained.

Several days later second coats were added and paint was allowed six days to dry thoroughly.

Details, shown above, were next, shadows, and layered colors in the corn kernels and leaves.

Patriotic at our completion, left, but before we felt completed. The final glossy layers and details around the mouth were left unfinished. Our client stopped work, gathered the horses into their storage, and soon after the Jantzen Beach Carousel was sold to a new owner.

It is unclear as to the future restoration plans, but we hope the lovely carousel is someday back in service to the city of Portland, and we’d love to have a hand in its restoration!

We have dozens of videos on Patriotic’s restorative
processes on Vimeo; click to browse!

To go back to other pages on Patriotic: