Having gotten her joints replaced and her mechanical foundation rebuilt and lubricated, Sal was good for another 50,000 laffs. But that only took care of her insides. Looks are important, so it was off to the body shop, which in this case was Julie Goldman Art Conservation in San Francisco. Customarily involved in the preservation of documents, paintings and other relics and museum pieces, Julie might regard Sal as one of her more unusual clients.
      Employing the same exacting techniques and treatments that she uses on heirlooms and objects of art, Julie began the daunting task of bringing Sal back to a semblance of her original self. It was a job made more challenging by the elements of time, continuous operation and the repainting of Sal's papier mache form and features over more than 60 years.

Julie documented Sal's condition and reported her observations to the park:
"Laffing Sal, early 1930's, papier mache (seven plys of pressed ground wood pulp card stock with interior horse hair) over steel coils and frame, detachable head arms, hands and legs, white ground, paint, wood, fabric, staples, pins, nails, non-human hair wig, garland (seems to be made of a celluloid), nuts and bolts…She has suffered numerous physical damages probably from poor storage
conditions, handling and even impact…Her detachable stomach
area as well as her back and sides have become delaminated, split and suffered small to large areas of loss and wear…
Laffing Sal's paint layer, especially on her hands, had been overpainted, chipped, gouged, crushed, soiled and discolored. The media was flaking and lifting on her hands, throat, back of neck, top of head, legs and shoes. There is a light to heavy layer of surface soil and dust overall."
Photos show some of the rehabilitation performed by Julie Goldman Art Conservation to address the effects of discoloration, wear and tear, rough handling and more than six decades of laughing during the course of Sal's career.
With the goal of minimizing the blemishes while keeping Sal as true to her original composition and styling as possible, Julie described the processes used to revitalize Sal's appearance:
"Sal was surface cleaned to the extent practical using slightly alkaline water, pH 8.5 and cotton swabs. Areas of her right foot were cleaned using Acetone dampened cotton swabs…The areas of lifting and flaking media were consolidated using Rhoplex AC 33, acrylic adhesive in ethanol. Many of these areas had suffered losses. They were infilled with Polyfix then inpainted using Golden liquid acrylic, Liquitex acrylic and Winsor and Newton Designer gouaches followed by Aqueous China Glaze Gloss and Matte…The delaminating areas of her chest and tummy were re-adhered and consolidated with Jade 403-N, polyvinyl acetate adhesive, PVA emulsion. The areas were further reinforced using Japanese paper strips adhered with Jade 403-N…Using new screws and nuts at the holes in her sides, Sal's chest area was lifted. Her tummy area was reattached though it is continuing to droop slightly."
Putting Sal Back In Shape
Above: Sal's cast papier mache "Mary Jane" shoes and platform. At right, Sal has been given a new lease on life, inside and out. Displaying a wild new head of hair, she anxiously awaited her trip to the clothing department where Crecia Munson would re-create her original costume.

You rock, Sal!
Sporting her new makeup, hairstyle and outfit, the Laffing Lady is ready for her debut and eager to get started at her
new job on the Boardwalk.