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There are a number of reasons that paint starts to flake or lift. Sometimes moisture causes the layers to separate. Sometimes the ground layer (historically made up of calcium carbonate and rabbit skin glue) does not have enough binder in it. This causes the paint layer to lift and become at risk to fall off. Whatever the reason is it is important to re-adhere the original paint to the structural support. This is called consolidation of the paint. If there are losses they can be filled and inpainted to match the original paint. See examples below.
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