Building conservation masterclass

Coatings and Consolidants for Masonry with David Odgers

Ref: B2D09123

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About this course

There is a long heritage to both the painting of masonry and to the application of materials to attempt to consolidate decayed stone surfaces. This two-day course will start by setting out the nature and historic use of these materials and how they have affected the stone and its subsequent treatment.

The course will set out the important distinction between surface coatings such as paints, limewash and sealants. It will explain how consolidants such as nanolime and silanes work and provide information on how, why and when their use might be appropriate.

The course will cover the various materials that are currently available and identify the benefits and drawbacks for each. As well as understanding the materials and the likely effect of their use, participants will have the opportunity to use and work with the various materials.

Course Description

Day 1

Introductions and short presentation to place the course in context of wider conservation principles

Day 2

Lecture. Historical use of and general purpose of coatings and consolidants; summary of different types of material and circumstances in which they might be used including summary of different stone types

Demo/lecture. Lime-based materials for consolidation and coatings. Practice and theory combined in explanation and demonstration of coatings and consolidants based on lime - limewater, limewash, nanolime. How the properties of all these materials can be manipulated for specific purposes. Includes opportunities to use the materials

Demo/lecture. Consolidants: How they work in theory and practice; properties of the material; pre-treatment assessment including nature and condition of substrate; examples of recent use

Demo/lecture. Consolidants: Practical session showing how consolidants are prepared and applied; examples of how the properties of stone may be affected; materials will include HCT, ethyl silicate, ammonium oxalate, syton

Day 3

Lecture. Types, properties and characteristics of surface coatings (including hydrophobic treatments), paints and anti-graffiti coatings

Demo/practical. Application of paints and surface coatings: mixes, substrates and case studies; techniques of removal

Lecture. Summarising when coatings and consolidants are appropriate. Do they work? Field tests for measuring the effect of treatments; potential for re-treatment

Issue of certificates and depart.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please remember to bring work clothes/overalls and shoes/boots for practical sessions. A torch and umbrella may be useful on the short walk to the Auditorium and Ruinette.


David Odgers

BCM Course Leader

David is Director of Odgers Conservation Consultants who provide support, advice and training for clients, architects, surveyors, local authorities and others involved in the conservation of historic structures.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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