Cemetery Cleaners

Re Lettering Granite

After the headstone is cleaned, (See the cleaning page for details) two coats of undercoat are then carefully applied to the heastone lettering.

New Plymouth Cemetery

The top coat (usually silver but can be any colour) is then applied.
If aditional colour is needed (see headstone on right ) the final coat of colour or colours is also carefully painted and left overnight to dry.

The next task is to "cut" the granite headstone with a special soft cutting stone such as a soft pumice with plenty of water to remove the unwanted paint leaving just the letter indentations with paint.
Gravesite base concrete can also be painted if required, any colour.

Granite is used for making sculptures, gravestones and memorials, it can be carved by hand or by using computer-controlled rotary bits. The cutting of the lettering is formed by sandblasting over computor generated stencils.
A liquid glue is first applied to the headstone and the rubber stencil is then applied over the glue and covered with a carbon-backed layout of the design.
The carbon transfers the design prepared by the draftsman onto the rubber stencil. The worker then cuts out the letters and design features that are wanted on the stone, exposing them to the sandblasting.

The sandblasting is either manually done or automated. Either method is done in an enclosed area due to the dangers of the process. The worker is entirely covered to be protected from the grains reflected off the stone. The course cutting abrasive is exerted at a force of 100 psi.

Re Lettering White Marble

New Plymouth Cemetery

O ver time the stone erodes and the lead lettering can become loose and begin to peel.

The lettering is attached to the gravestone by small lead pegs and these become loose. The lead lettering begins to curl away from the surface and eventually drops out. The impression of the lettering, complete with peg holes, is often visible in old gravestones.

This natural ageing process tends to make the inscriptions hard to read and can look very tattered.
The remaining lettering is then carefully panel beaten back into place.

The art of replacing these missing lead letters is all but gone with the passing of time but fortunately a process is available to going some way to making the inscription readable.
This process is similar to the Granite stone relettering and using the right technique these older marble headstones can be made to look presentable again.

Your family gave site will look like brand new again.

Take a look at our Gallery page to see examples of completed work.