Greg G. wrote:
<<Temporal perceptions have altered the general public consensus on
"looks good" in this decade. As the commonplace and mundane woods of
yesteryear faded to synthetics, gypsum and latex, we now find
ourselves celebrating natural woods once again. I suppose in times
past, being surrounded by unfinished wooden bowls, spoons, tables,
chairs, and well... everything, paint was considered quite upscale.
The changing fortunes of time continue to wreak havoc on expectations.
Now that wood isn't so common, we yearn for what was once concealed. >>
How very true is that? I work on a lot of houses (the one I looked at
yesterday was built in 1927; appraised value 1.1 million) and most of
the older homes had painted wood of a quality we will never see again.
This had all Douglas fir pediments, keyed trim around the windows with
all wood frames with sills and skirts. All with no knots, rough spots,
or curly grain. This also applied to the shoe mold, the 6" crown
molding (not sure of the wood, though) and the door casings with
All was gleefully painted. With many coats, too. When I am in the
attic of an older house, it is not uncommon for me to see rafters in
the 18 - 20' range in pine that have no knots at all for the entire
length. It was only framing lumber for the builder, but for us it
would be treasure.
For me, as stated, I like finishes that let the wood come through.
That's been the norm for many and certainly the hobby guys for many
years now. But 30 years ago when I started out, we stained everything.
I mean everything. The style was darker woods, like the old dark
libraries and studies, and the dark walled game rooms. We stained
trim, paneling, cabinets, doors, etc. I mean everything. We stained
walnut to a darker walnut. We stained cherry to a cherry red, not mild
In later years, we painted over a lot of the clear lacquer finishes on
kitchen cabinets and built ins as the French Country style of deorating
took hold. Everything had to be painted out white. Everything. I
must admit, it was a huge improvement for some of the kitchens we
But those weren't my projects, so I just did what the client wanted.
What someone chooses for a finish wasn't any of my business then, and
don't think it is now. Sure, I'll agree that it is hard to watch Norm
slather on some of those finishes, but hey... it's his project.
I just took offense to an earlier post that pronounced that people that
finish wood contrary to their authorotative, magificent opinon were
simply ignorant. Just about two shades of dark walnut too arrogant for