Washington Hall Renovation



In 2016, SKIS Painting was privileged to be involved in the historic renovation of Washington Hall in Seattle’s Central District. Built in 1908, this once fraternal lodge and dance hall has been a cornerstone of music and cultural activities, with powerhouses such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Jimi Hendrix performing on its stage. We received an award for Excellence in Construction and Safety from the Associated Builder's and Contractors (ABC) Association for our work on this culturally significant project.


  • Preliminary planning
  • Budget building
  • Existing surface and substrate preparation
  • Removal of years of old paint and coatings
  • Wood stain matching
  • Onsite samples and color matching
  • Uniform surfacing
  • Historical renovation

Case Study: Washington Hall Renovation

The Washington Hall renovation was special for SKIS Painting. It gave us an opportunity to lend our skill and knowledge to a culturally significant and challenging project, working with general contractor Lydig Construction. We successfully completed surface renovations to decades-old plaster and wood, delicately working with and around historical building features.

Throughout the years there were various modifications to the Hall’s interior layout, but most of the original finishes were still intact, with maintenance on much of the building severely neglected. Cracked surfaces, joints, and chipped paint were prevalent. Taking care to preserve as much of the original substrate as possible, we brought all surfaces needing paint or stain back to life.

We sealed the exterior brick and mortar to protect the interior from moisture. Walls and ceiling holes were patched, sanded, and made uniform. They were then primed with several types of alkyd or acrylic based primers or sealers depending on surface, to ensure proper adhesion and provide a consistent finish throughout the project. Old fir trim with multiple layers of varnish and paint were remediated and primed to prevent bleed, and refinished with multiple layers of an amber shellac to achieve a color matching the original. The 30-foot interior ceiling was repaired and recoated while working between rows of rust-covered historic stage lighting, all while on scaffolding.

Due to the age of existing walls and trim, it was necessary to make samples on site of what the finished product would look like. Several mock up areas were completed and then reviewed by the client for acceptance. After that was achieved, our painters used a “benchmark sample” for which all work was patterned after. SKIS Painting made every effort to follow all PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America) standards, which helped provide a superior product for our customer.

Despite a challenging project with a constantly changing scope, substrates that were in very poor condition, and an aggressive timeline, SKIS Painting completed the project successfully while executing our core values of service, knowledge, integrity, and satisfaction. We greatly enjoyed our part in renovating a key cultural home to many communities in the Seattle area.

(Photos courtesy: Tim Rice Photography.)