Getting Lincrusta Fever


Eight rooms on the first floor of the 1894 Cross House have wainscoting featuring Lincrusta.


The rooms are:

  • Three vestibules
  • Receiving Room
  • Grand Hall
  • Telephone Closet
  • South Hall
  • Dining Room

Most of the Lincrusta in intact. I have small areas with missing Lincrusta (the red lines in the above image). The two larger areas are in the dining room (where water damage over decades ruined a section about 4-feet wide) and in the Grand Hall, under the staircase (in 1950 another stair was created to access new motel rooms in the basement, and the Lincrusta along this wall was removed).

I have some Lincrusta bits to repair small areas, but not enough to repair the larger areas.



The Lincrusta in the round Receiving Room.



All the wood inside the house is DARK from old shellac. In the parlor and library I revealed the much lighter original finishes. In this image, I removed the old shellac.


After reading a previous post on the subject, Bo Sullivan contacted me, and recommend that I get in touch with Stephen Sullivan (no relation to Bo). And, when Bo suggests, I do. Thus, I contacted Stephen, and he replied to me directly, and on this blog. He wrote that he is: “Lincrusta trained: Restorers and Conservators of Historic Lincrusta Wallcovering (1877 – 1939) for North America”.

Golly. Stephen is my newest very favorite person. Hello, gorgeous!

I am hoping to retain Stephen’s services to help restore my Lincrusta and recreate what has been lost.

The original Lincrusta company is based in the UK, and they offer a “recreation” kit. My heart soared at discovering this!

Stephen stated that the finish I revealed under the old dark shellac is the base color, and that there would have been a top finish. I am highly curious to discover what the original top finish was!



Stephen sent me these images, showing a recent project of his. You can see the lost bits to the right.



This looks just like my smaller areas of loss.



The the glorious After! Zounds!



One can also richly color Lincrusta. This is an image I lifted from one of my favorite blogs, The Danville Experience. Make sure to read this post. PREPARE TO BE ASTONISHED.



It is going to be great fun hopping onto the Great Lincrusta Ride!

My seat belt is fastened!

And the seat next to me is empty. Wanna come along?




  1. Steve H on April 16, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Have you discovered much about the motel era in the Cross House’s history? I have this mental picture of it being like the Shady Rest from Petticoat Junction.

    • Ross on April 17, 2016 at 10:25 am

      No, virtually nothing!

      Quite vexing!

      I have no old postcards, no images, no nothing.

      I am in touch with the Mouse family who created the motel (The Palace), and the family lives nearby.

      I do have a single extant Palace bathroom, in the basement. I am going to slavishly restore it as a homage to the Palace Motel. Pink tiles! And pink towels!

      The only other extant part of The Palace is the 1950 steel casement windows in the basement, and I am restoring these.

  2. arlene picciano on April 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Ah, I just love this and so does everyone else.

    Thank You Ross!

    Always can’t wait for the next post!

    So entertaining about a beautiful house.

    • Ross on April 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Thank YOU!

  3. Barb Sanford on April 17, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Ross: As always, I feel like I’m attending a master class in restoration and design when I read your posts. It’s so much fun learning alongside you as you discover more about the histories and mysteries of the Cross House.

    The restored Lincrusta in the post is so beautiful.

    But I have a question: When you say that “Lincrusta can be richly colored,” does this mean it must be hand-painted? How does a person achieve that effect?

    • Ross on April 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

      If you Google “painting Lincrusta” you will find a wealth of information. Pretty amazing!

  4. Sandra Lee on March 22, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Love this post Ross! The Lincrusta is so beautiful!

  5. JoeD on August 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Hi Ross–

    Followed Jim’s link here from OHD and then clicked on the link to the Danville Experience….holy smokes! I can’t even. Words. Fail. I mean, seriously.

  6. JoeD on August 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Of course, your work is also FABULOUS. I admire the heck out of your attention to detail. Your home is awesome.

    AND, I must comment on the bat post from a while ago (I spent the past hour reading your adventures with the Cross House restoration). I can’t believe you poked it! Yikes!!! I would have tried squirting ‘it’ with the hose to find out what it might be, with my feet firmly planted on the ground in case I needed to RUN 🙂

  7. Betsy on March 19, 2020 at 9:33 pm


Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.