Conservation, treatment

Here is a challenge for you: Conservation not restoration

by Monica Lindemann on 2 April, 2013

One-150x150When conservators are treating objects, including large technology objects, they aim to preserve as much of the original as possible. This is different from the approach of restoration, which might replace original materials, for instance paint surfaces, and would aim to make the object look brand new. In the past, this has been the approach of car restorers.


When treating pitted and damaged chrome work on cars there are a number of options that can be considered. How would you approach the treatment of this rusted and pitted petrol cap?

  1. Would you treat the rust spots with tannic acid to prevent further rust?
  2. Would you paint over the pitted chrome with silver paint?
  3. Would you strip off damaged chrome and re-chrome the object?
  4. Would you clean the chrome carefully to remove corrosion products and polish gently with a microfiber cloth?
  5. Other … What other things might you consider?

Please comment below on what you would do? We will post answers from our conservators soon.