A thin retouching varnish is applied so that the new pigments suspended in a suitable binder may be easily removed at a later stage if necessary, and so that they do not adhere or mask the original pigment. Both the retouching varnish and the retouching pigment binder may be removed with solvents that have little or no effect on the original painting.
Some larger areas of paint loss had to be reconstructed using the original Daniele da Volterra painting as a model. The varnish is then applied using a polymer proven to have minimal discolouration over time and designed specifically as a protective reversible final coat.
The gilt frame had been entirely painted over with low-grade "gold" paint. It had to be stripped to reveal the original gold leaf. The rotten top edge of the frame structure was completely replaced. Other structural repairs were made, mouldings cast and running-patterns constructed in compo and gesso before all missing gold leaf was replaced with water and oil gilding techniques to match the original condition and patina of age.
This restoration process took 10 months to complete.
The final state of the painting