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The project at Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church was the rehabilitation of its central icon: a 40-foot diameter gold dome, patterned after ancient Byzantine churches. 

In 2001 the inside of the dome was filled with elaborate, newly installed iconography of Christ, his heavenly angels, and church saints. 

By 2020, the outside of the dome also required substantial work. The condition of the structure at the beginning of the project was poor, with algae buildup on the surface that blackened and discolored the once vibrant gold dome. 

Safety Measures

The mobilization process for painting the church dome required the use of a 32-foot ladder to transport the material to the top of the roof. The material included a 25-gallon air compressor, wood sheeting to protect the newly installed roof, paint spray equipment, ladders, hoses, chains, and safety harnesses. Once on the top, the team needed to install a chain safety system to use the ladders needed to paint the dome safely.

Preparation & Painting Process

To prepare the dome for painting, PPD’s team power washed and scrubbed the dome to remove the algae, and then applied a prime coat of Tnemec Chembuild Modified Polyamidoamine Epoxy to prevent future corrosion. Chembuild is a high build coating with excellent abrasion-, chemical-, and corrosion-resistance, and it makes the perfect foundation for the metallic gold finish the church requested. 

After providing the congregation with multiple samples of varying gold colors, they chose to use Tnemec’s Gold 93MT. For the base coat, PPD decided on Tnemec’s Metallic Fluoronar, an Advanced Thermoset Solution Fluoropolymer Coating. Fluoronar is a high solids coating that provides an ultra-durable metallic finish with outstanding gloss and color retention even in the most severe exposures….but that’s not all. 

To ensure the longevity of the paint job, PPD applied a Tnemec Metallic Clearcoat, an Aliphatic Acrylic Polyurethane, which is a unique clear coat used to both enhance the finish and extend the long-term weathering qualities of metallic pigmented coatings.

Final Results

Despite harsh weather conditions, work proceeded with great care, expediency, and sensitivity to church services and events. After about three weeks of work, PPD restored the grandeur of Saints Peter and Paul’s dome.

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