Renovation, Restoration & Beautification Services

Successfully restoring, renovating or preserving sacred interiors requires careful planning, design and coordination.  

John Canning_Planning and Design Color Palette (1)

The decision to renovate, restore, or beautify your place of worship (whether a church, temple, synagogue, or other sacred space) is an exciting one—and, as it carries the potential to reinvigorate the faith and passion of your parish, it is one that deserves to be celebrated. 

But even the simplest of restorations or renovations can be a complex endeavor. Funds must be raised, budgets proposed, designs generated, trades coordinated, and activities sequenced in a careful, logical way in order to bring the project to a successful finish—all while preserving and amplifying the spiritual significance of the existing structure and iconography.

Without this careful planning, it is not uncommon for a church beautification project to lag behind schedule, miss important milestones, and potentially even fail in its original intent.

With more than 45 years of experience providing preservation, conservation, restoration, and custom design services to sacred places, Canning Liturgical Arts understands the unique challenges associated with church renovations and restorations. 

Our on-staff project managers, conservators, and tradesmen all possess an intimate understanding of the significance of different religious traditions, symbolism, iconography, and ceremony, and are skilled in all stages of design, planning, and construction. We pride ourselves on our ability to work closely with spiritual leaders, parish committees, architects, designers, and members of the general congregation in order to ensure that the final result is one that all members of the community will be happy with.

Planning & Analysis Services

Analysis and planning form the bedrock of any successful church beautification project. 

Thorough analysis enables us to understand what currently exists—on the logistical, ecclesiastical, historic, and decorative levels—and may inform everything from materials selection to decorative technique, color palette, motifs, iconography, and more.

Project planning and management may entail everything from consulting services (including the development of project budgets and scope) to scheduling, the selection and management of subcontractors, and other general contracting duties.

historical paint analysis
CLA's comprehensive paint analysis uses advanced technologies to evaluate original historic decoration, colors, and finishes.

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plaster conditions survey
CLA plaster survey reveals the condition of ornamental and flat plaster substrates and defines the steps needed to stabilize and repair them.

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Design & Consulting Services

When we approach a beautification project, we do not seek to change the architectural design of a church, but rather to expand on its existing style, adding decoration in the same design as the building. Preserving the integrity and splendor of sacred buildings is an integral part of our mission. 

On some projects we take the role as ecclesiastical design consultants, collaborating with building committees to select products and services with both the highest quality and the best price. Depending on the scope of a project, we may provide a range of design services—such as renderings and mockups—that can be incredibly useful as fundraising tools and in getting the congregation excited about the project.

Final design work can include everything from the creation of new decorative elements (sacred murals, wood and stone furnishings, gilding, ornamental plaster) to the conservation, preservation, and restoration of existing elements.

CLA carefully plans out the materials and process needed for our work with other trades to deliver the project within budget and on time.

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Plaster Restoration

CLA skilled artisans have mastered mould, ornamental, acoustic, and scagliola plaster fabrication methods to replicate any type of period element.

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CLA specializes in architectural and exterior gilding whether it be atop buildings, inside iconic landmarks, churches, theaters or residence.

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Wood Restoration
Wood restoration involves conservation cleaning, repair and reversible coatings with paint and glazes that replicates the grain and color of the original material.
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Stone Restoration

CLA has invented gentle ways to evaluate, test, and formulate custom cleaning agents to restore historical stone for every kind of surface.

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CLA professional conservators evaluate conditions, develop harmless cleaning solutions, reattach original paint, and protect original artwork.

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Historic Building Conditions Assessment
CLA expertise can be used to understand and document the current conditions of your historic building in order to anticipate and plan for conservation, restoration and preservation needs.
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The  possibilities for beautification in new structures are endless. Blank walls are the canvas on which the mysteries of the faith should be illustrated. CLA is determined to bring sacredness back into churches regardless the era in which they were built.

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Canning StPatricks
CLA artisans have decades of experience not only preserving, conserving, and restoring murals and artwork, but also in creating new pieces that align with the structure of the space utilizing period methods, materials, and techniques.

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“Canning’s professionalism, cleanliness, efficiency, and organizational skills were superb. Their enthusiasm and their respect for working in a sacred building were evident at all times.”


“The work was, in every case, excellent. Whenever there was a question, a prompt and respectful response was always given. Any changes in the work were most graciously accepted.”


“Finding remnants of original decorative patterns that had been whitewashed for 75 years. [John Canning Co.] restored them to their splendor and created a beautiful worship space for the present day community.”

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The Philadelphia Academy of Music restoration involved analysis of up to 16 layers of paint aggressive exposure methods to reveal faintly ghosted patterns.

US National Archives

Our team was asked to assist with the design of a new mural of a shallow dome in the new visitor plaza, located below the Constitution exhibit hall.

Mural in St. Patrick's Parish

We were able to uncovered original colors, patterns, and finishes to conserve 24 murals while restoring Stations of the Cross and the scagliola columns.

Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Ceiling

Our team provided historic restoration of ornamental plaster and decorative painting, new murals, and design that reflects the Catholic liturgy.


We were involved in paint analysis, plaster stabilization, and creating a new ceiling and beam structure independent of the severely compromised Garrett Hall building.

In redesigning the Chapel, Canning designers were able to make reference to traditional architectural details, like a gothic boss, with a new interpretation that blends seamlessly with the mid-century modern lines.