First, it is most important to understand the range of approaches
and treatments and to make choices with as much knowledge
of the original and subsequent historic paints as possible,
using the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the
Treatment of Historic Properties as a framework.
A paint's patina of age expresses decades or centuries of
endurance in the face of changing climate and conditions.
Documenting the sequence of interior paint layers and protecting
this information for future investigation should be an integral
part of any historic preservation project.
Except for the rare, scholarly restorations of historic interiors,
most repainting jobs done today will employ modern paint formulations.
Modern paints can recreate the appearance of historic colors,
gloss and texture in varying degrees, but eliminate earlier
toxic components such as white lead and volatile organic compounds.