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Dave Scaturro


Know Thy Customer
Painting a church with symbolic significance


Scaffolding setup was important in this project.

Based in Greenwood, Missouri, near Kansas City, Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons travels throughout the country to answer the challenges provided by church architecture and design. Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Omaha gave ESS a six-week timeline to design and apply a decorating scheme that would complement and enhance church architecture — and be affordable

The team first consulted with Fr. Vitalis Anyanike to discuss colors, designs and decorating ideas that could work in the short time frame as well as meet the church’s budget. “We presented him with a general concept — colored rendering — an eight-color palette, and a proposal with a set price and time frame,” said the company's decorator Alex Wendt Jr. “Once that was agreed to, we prepared all our equipment and scaffolding, loaded it up, and hauled it to the church to begin work.” The company owns its scaffolding; having ready access to this equipment helped them finish on time and on budget.


The team studies how to apply the rendering to the church itself


Alex Wendt Jr. paints in the fine details.

All the facets of the project had specific reasons for being included. “The colors and designs we chose carry significant symbolism to the Catholic faith and to Our Lady of Lourdes,” said Wendt, who described the meaning of all the colors:

• blue represents heaven, the sky, hope, the beginning of a new creation and, of course, Our Lady

• White and cream colors symbolize chastity, purity, innocence, holiness and virtue

• Gold apse accents and highlights represent the gates of heaven, divinity, glory to God and the renewal of hope

• Brown striping signified renunciation of worldly things, humility, poverty and the earth we live on

• Red accents exemplify the blood of Christ and atonement

• Light blue relates to holy water

• Silver highlights illustrate redemption


The completed project shows the team's attention to detail


Another view of the completed project.

The decorations also have significance, Wendt continued:

• The 12 big stars represent the 12 apostles. Ecclesiastical designs and stencils were chosen to complement past designs and decorating in older church photos.

• The fleur-de-lis symbolizes the lily flower, purity, the Holy Trinity, faith, unity and Our Lady.

• The Alpha and Omega relate to the divinity of Christ, who is the beginning and the end of all creation.

The project took almost six weeks to complete, with the crew working six days a week. “Along with the painting, we constructed a platform [on the back wall] for the new altar and tabernacle on the back wall which is still on order and waiting to be installed. Also, the crucifix was relocated to the back wall rather than just floating in the air above the holy table,” said Wendt.

Whatever your religious affiliation, their attention to detail shows that a deeper understanding of your customers and how your work can affect them goes a long way in being appreciated — and getting continued TOP JOB wins. APC

Key Products

  • Zinsser primers
  • Behr: paint and multipurpose caulking
  • Crescent Bronze
  • Purdy brushes and rollers