what would they have used (finishing some wainscoting)


Hi, folks, I have an old (1910) bungalow, slowly going through and stripping paint off of pretty much everything. My question is NOT what COULD I use for finishing the old Douglas fir trim, but what do you think they really did use, back in 1910?
Any thoughts?
Thanks!
Ds
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Several possibilities - BLO (boiled linseed oil), Shellac and the old standby - milk paint.
Bob S.
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If you look in reprinted bungalow house plan books, they often mention that the interior woodwork is finished with varnish.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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:> I have an old (1910) bungalow, slowly going through and stripping paint :> off of pretty much everything. My question is NOT what COULD I use for :> finishing the old Douglas fir trim, but what do you think they really :> did use, back in 1910?
: If you look in reprinted bungalow house plan books, they often mention : that the interior woodwork is finished with varnish.
But shellac was known back then as spirit varnish, so it might be shellac.
    -- Andy Barss
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wrote:

Seems that anything with a "spirit" - alcohol, spirit of turpentine - solvent, and a resin - e.g. sandarac,copal - is often referred to as a "spirit varnish," at least of late. This to distinguish them from curing-oil types which may contain the same resin.
http://www.classicalvarnish.com/DreamHC/Pagina6.html
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/don/dt/dt1677.html
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Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Some rackingfrackin previous owner painted all the woodwork in our c.1918 bungalow too - what a B**** removing it from all the built ins, crown moldings and window trim!
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Pop off a few chips of paint and find out what's on the bottom.
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Thanks for the ideas.
I'm inclined to think that shellac was used in my house. In the main rooms, the paint strips off pretty easily, making me think that the wood was coated first. The bedrooms seem to have been painted from day one, just very poorly painted from day two (and so on, with about fifteen more coats.)
ds
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If it is shellac, it should still dissolve easily with alcohol even after all these years. You could try under the paint in an inconspicuous spot if you really want to know.
For what it's worth, lacquer was not yet in use in 1910 before WWI, and the only non-natural-resin varnish that might have been available was phenolic-resin varnish. Alkyd-resin (polyester) and urethane-resin varnishes did not become available until the 20's and 30's.
Josh
largecorp wrote:

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