Hey, Texplainer: What did they do to the dome during the restoration that makes it look so shiny and different from the rest of the building?

Last summer, the State Preservation Board decided to restore the Capitol's dome, which was leaking and its color fading. They put up scaffolding in June 2010, repaired the dome and repainted around its 96 windows in about six months. It was the first restoration of the 75,000-square-foot dome since a two-year project that began in 1991. The most recent restoration required 1,200 gallons of paint.

Turns out, it's all that fresh paint that makes the dome look so different from before and from the rest of the granite building. The paint gives the metal dome more color and gloss. But it will fade with age and eventually return to the less putty-like visage we're all used to.

Got a question for Texplainer? E-mail us at texplainer@texastribune.org.

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