St. Francis De Sales Completed Church Restoration, Paducah, KY.

The  summer of 2011 I worked on  a church restoration  at St. Francis De Sales Catholic church in Paducah, Kentucky.  On this project I worked for  Tony Kartsonas of Historic Surfaces. Also on the project were Susie Buchholz, Nick Pavlos and Jeff Wolfe. The project was about 5 months long and I was there for over 4 months.

Paducah is the nicest town in the western Kentucky region, with a small arts and nightlife district along the waterfront. There is a well done series of murals along the flood walls, and is generally a pleasant and friendly, if unexciting place.

The  interior church walls  had apparently been covered with a kind of acoustic tiling, obliberating  the exsisting decorative painting. These were removed, the walls and plasterwork were repaired and repainted, and we completely re-created what had been there. Also the main alter mural had been crudely over-painted and this was stripped off and restored to it’s original appearance. Overall, it was a good restoration, because of the commitment of the entire crew and management to make it a really nice job. The local Priest, Father Roby, was very pleased.

A before and after  image of cleaning and conservation result of the main alter mural
A before and after image of the progression of cleaning and conservation of the main alter mural.
A before and after image of the progression of cleaning and conservation of the main alter mural (detail
A before and after image of the progression of cleaning and conservation of the main alter mural (detail)

I painted a new bottom to the main alter mural which had been previously covered by a higher alter.

New mural bottom
New mural bottom

I was lucky enough to get a commission for two paintings on this job, For a Remembrance niche at the rear of the church, which you can see more about by clicking here.

My Remembrance Niche Panels
My Remembrance Niche Panels

I also painted a small  mural for a side chapel entranceway based on designs by Friar Mark Joseph Costello, a Chicago based Capuchin Friar who serves as a liturgical consultant for many churches , and did so on St. Francis De Sales as well.

Side chapel mural.
Side chapel mural.
Side chapel mural(detail).
Side chapel mural(detail).

Below here are a couple images of the progression of the Trompe l’oiel decorations. You can see how they are started first with a stencil and then finished with handpainting.

 Cartouche progression.
Cartouche progression.
Trompe l'oiel Progression
Trompe l’oiel Progression

And below here is a progression of some very simple conservation of a stained glass window, but with dramatic results.

Stained Glass Conservation Progression
Stained Glass Conservation Progression

And finally below is a slideshow of more images from the entire church.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 thought on “St. Francis De Sales Completed Church Restoration, Paducah, KY.”

  1. Thanks so much Stephan!! This is really great! Hope all is well with you! Where are you working now? I do wish that you could have came back for the first Mass,

    Every day I go into the Church I still am in all of what has been done by all of you, the Church is really beautiful! I some times try to tell people how hard you all worked to make that happen!

    From some one who appreciates all yoiur work!

    Kind regards;
    Steve Batusic

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