Fungal deterioration of frescoes was studied in situ on a selected Serbian church, and on a laboratory model, utilizing standard and newly implemented microscopy techniques. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray confirmed the limestone components of the plaster. Pigments used were identified as carbon black, green earth, iron oxide, ocher, and an ocher/cinnabar mixture. In situ microscopy, applied via a portable microscope ShuttlePix P-400R, proved very useful for detection of invisible micro-impairments and hidden, symptomless, microbial growth. SEM and optical microscopy established that observed deterioration symptoms, predominantly discoloration and pulverization of painted layers, were due to bacterial filaments and fungal hyphal penetration, and formation of a wide range of fungal structures (i.e., melanized hyphae, chlamydospores, microcolonial clusters, Cladosporium-like conidia, and Chaetomium perithecia and ascospores). The all year-round monitoring of spontaneous and induced fungal colonization of a “mock painting” in controlled laboratory conditions confirmed the decisive role of humidity level (70.18±6.91% RH) in efficient colonization of painted surfaces, as well as demonstrated increased bioreceptivity of painted surfaces to fungal colonization when plant-based adhesives (ilinocopie, murdent), compared with organic adhesives of animal origin (bone glue, egg white), are used for pigment sizing.