Hawkins Construction

Liberty Hall Interior Restoration

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Liberty Hall

Interior Restoration

Frankfort, Franklin Co., Kentucky 

Restoration of the interior plaster and painted surfaces


Senator John Brown began construction of Liberty Hall in 1796.  
Today it is a museum open to the public.


Liberty Hall before and during work

Liberty Hall stairwell before restoration work began.

The front doors and trim were painted brown.  
Paint analysis showed that the trim was originally grained.

The plaster surfaces were generally in good shape for a house that was
216 years old  but some areas were cracked and flaking.

Some ceilings showed cracks.

Moisture intrusion from an exterior backed-up downspout caused plaster damage in this area.

The wood trim had very thick layers of paint that needed to be stripped before repainting.

To protect the historic wood floor, they were first covered with plastic, then Masonite
which was taped down, followed with a layer of brown paper which was also taped down.

The stairs were carefully covered to protect the finish.

Stripping the paint was a long process. A chemical stripper was painted onto the trim,
then covered with plastic to keep the stripper wet longer.

An additional layer of plastic covered the floors for extra protection.

The stripped window trim and baseboards were sanded to a smooth finish.
In this room, the chair rail was removed because it was a later addition and not appropriate to the time the house was built.

Careful paint analysis showed the the original finish in the foyer was grained paint finish.
The graining involved many steps. The base paint was a golden color.

Many coats of different color glaze are added to give a depth of color.


A darker tone was finally achieved.


The front doors in the graining process. The final color is darker.

The back door graining.

The Dining Room door with the first coat of glaze applied.

Each coat of glaze is slightly darker.

Another coat of glaze has been applied.

The finished door with dark graining applied.

The finished door casing with dark graining.

Following restoration, the upstairs hallway has original color trim.
This area was once part of the ballroom.

The Dining Room after restoration. The plaster walls have been repaired.
The wood trim has been stripped and repainted with colors that match the original colors in the house.
All the baseboards are painted black, just as they would have been painted originally.
The wood floors are in beautiful condition due to the protective covering put in place before work began.

Now the house was ready for the decorative treatments to complete the restoration.
Reproduction wallpapers, carpets, and drapes were added by the owners to complete the restoration.
Their work continues.

Liberty Hall Dining room from Facebook

Visit Liberty Hall Historic Site on Facebook for additional pictures

Liberty Hall Historic Site


P. O. Box 257
217 Waterfill Avenue
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky 40342

Fax 502-839-5289 

Email HawkinsConstruction@dcr.net