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Speaking of exterior finishes, the Wright Society today picks up the story of the relocation and dedication of the little Wes Peters house in Evansville. I thought that this house was made entirely of oak. If so, what a shame to have it covered in brown paint. Or maybe a restoration is still ahead ?
http://www.tristatehomepage.com/news/lo ... Society_42
Finally, a house small enough to fit on a single trailer !
Does it make a film; what kind of gloss, if any ? Color ? Any photos you'd like to share ?
In polyurethanes, water clear is only available in water-borne form, I've been told . . .
On the Lloyd Lewis House, we did a test to see how well the existing opaque gray stain could be stripped off. Fortunately that went quite well. Now we will do several options for the stain itself for presentation, with our recommendation for review and approval by the Owner.
http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... aa8f5315b8
If Wright's preference for these houses was a no-finish appearance, that implies (to me) that no added color of any kind might be one goal of a finish system. Anything added to the surface of wood brightens and/or deepens the color of the the material; simply wetting a board demonstrates this, and it would be an unavoidable -- if not indefinitely long-lasting -- consequence of any finish, clear or colored. If a water-clear sealer could be found, that would at least limit the change in appearance as far as hue was concerned . . .
I suspect that Mr Wright continued to experiment with this, as with so many other aspects of the work, house by house. I find it hard to believe that he would differentiate between one commission and another when it came to the appearance of the wood, if we believe that he sought a no-finish effect. Any finish coating suggested by him would be specified only for its ability to prolong that appearance, wouldn't you say ? He surely never specified a stain or other coloring for any Usonian ?
Owner preference set aside for the moment, the appearance of that corner of the Pew residence that is shown just above might be one desirable outcome, assuming it could be prolonged for at least a few years, and assuming that the existing material could be cleaned or sanded to that degree of "freshness." If the graying weathered look is assumed as Wright's intention, on the other hand -- an idea that hadn't really occurred to me until John mentioned it, here -- a gray stain of one sort or another (Mod mom's choice at the Glenbrow house, for instance, when using both old and new material) could immediately gain that effect, which (again) could last for some time before (a) fading, and (be) being overtaken by actual weathering. At least it would avoid the obviously-stained appearance which any warm tone would impart to the house.
All of this assumes the highest degree of transparency possible to the chosen finish. Euchtman is an example of "paint" rather than stain. However, some degree of grain-covering is the necessary effect of some of the methods or materials suggested here. Aniline dye, rather than pigmented stain, might be investigated if a definite degree of color-change is desired . . .
Interior shellac and wax is a good solution to seal and prevent spills from penetrating, and allowing dust to easily slide off with wiping. I agree with SDR that ceilings needn't be protected unless absolute consistency of sheen is desired.
As much as we would like to think that exterior wood can be turned into a static thing, nature is working in opposition to that. Preserving the original color of wood, or freezing it at a specific point in time is an exercise in futility.
I find it hard to imagine that cypress is much different than redwood:
http://www.calredwood.org/finishing-res ... g-redwood/
I haven't handled cypress. I imagine it to be about the consistency of hard pine. But the world of conifers gives us such a rainbow of woods, that one is only guessing, based on -- what ? Color ? No, that won't do; soft pine's meat is not much harder than balsa, it sometimes seems, while there are other blond conifers which have grain as hard as the spring growth of Douglas fir.
Redwood is in another quarter of the world of needle-trees; its color and texture are of another order, it's hardness nowadays no more than that of soft pine -- in my experience. And the softer cedars -- Eastern and Western reds -- are yet another animal, with grain like bundles of, say, animal hair -- dry animal hair.
Then there's Port Orford cedar, a firm and friendly substance, almost waxy in texture. For some years I preserved a small box containing machine shavings I made from the wood, to enjoy the lemony scent and the lemon color.
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread. ... it-weather