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After the weathering process has taken place on unfinished exterior wood surfaces, nature provides somewhat the same effect: the silver-gray of most appropriate exterior species blends the various individual boards quite well. It is only during the period when the weathering is incomplete that random water stains and partial graying mar the appearance of Wright's houses. I can imagine him explaining this to many a client, at some point. . .
Cabot oil stains are well-thought-of, apparently. (I'm still distrustful of water-borne wood finishes; their only advantage seems to be ease of use and low emissions.) Unfortunately, there is a widespread belief that SOMETHING has to be *done* to wood -- without the realization or perhaps reckoning that whatever is done to wood outside will have to be re-done over and over. Boat owners would know this. . .
Today I saw a new book on Louis Kahn's houses, published in Japan but with much English text and excellent color photos. Some of these houses have lots of exterior (and interior) wood finishes, still looking fresh and clean. The Fisher house has nicely textured vertical boards of cypress on its walls, fresh in color and kept finished (with what I haven't learned yet -- possibly oil) by its original owners, for forty years or more. So, it can be done.
SDR wrote:I admit to living in a place where the median home price passed $500,000 last year, so $398 k for a Wright Usonian seems like a steal -- but really, why hasn't a Wright fan taken this opportunity ?
GW has lots going for it, including the ravine below that ensures no one will block the view. But in contrast, for around $400K, a typical buyer can get a 3000 sq ft house with 3 1/2 baths, 4 bedrooms and 2 fireplaces. I think GW could fit in the great room of this house:
Still, Michigan State is nearby, it sits on two acres and, well, it's GW. If it were 50 miles closer to Detroit, I'd be dead. Because I would buy it, and my wife would kill me!
One of their series is called "Cetol SRD". It is an exterior translucent wood finish for siding, roofs, decks and fences. It is a penetrating oil and alkyd resin formula. It comes in several colors. It is not a stain. The pigment in the "natural" color is minimal. I am not an expert but I would assume that you need some pigment for UV protection.
Again (other post), the choices are between products which peel when failing and those which penetrate and do not peel. My guess is that the products which peel may protect slightly better but are much more difficult to maintain (they can retain water under the finish which is not a good thing). I prefer the penetrating products and choose to do a bit more maintenance rather than deal with peeling. With the penetrating products, as soon as you see some dampness on the siding after a rain, it is time to clean, prep and reapply.
at the Pew house. Looks like they used a solid stain, at best, or deck
paint, at worst. Seems surprising considering the sensitivity shown on
the rest of the house. This surely must reduce the melding of inside and
outside space that Wright strove to acheive through continuity of
Comments? More info from anyone who has been there?
I agree that FLW never considered these houses to be monuments that would last forever. He was committed to getting his innovative work built first and foremost. What architect could have a successful career with only paper architecture in FLW's time? FLW used every tool in his impressive tool box to get the building built. He used his immense personal skills; relationships with the clients wife; truth stretching; tight floor plans; tight vertical dimensions (together with tight floor plans which resulted in tight, economical building volumes); cost effective building materials when required; risky structural and technical leaps of faith; an optimism that sketchy working drawings could be built by a competent contractor to yield a lasting building; a contract that that limited his liability to the amount of his fee; and the technology of his day. If FLW was concerned about creating monuments he could not have been as prolific as he was and his income would have suffered accordingly. FLW considered the Coonley Mansion to be one of his greatest works in his first golden age, the Prairie period, and yet he was not interested in going back and working on alterations on this important building. FLW aspired to greatness and immortality and yet in terms of his buildings on a physical level, he lived "in the moment".outside in wrote:...I think the problem is that Wright never considered these homes to be the monuments that we do, and his concept of exterior finishes (linseed oil, Cabot's) did not stand up well over time. ...
Undoubtedly FLW's budget skin was his wood board and batten system. The Davenport House is predominantly clad in old growth Cypress. It was originally stained with Cabot's creosote stain. After 106 years the house has virtually all of the original wood more 2 feet above grade. Within two feet of grade 95 percent of the original Cypress is intact. The creosote stain protected the wood exceedingly well for most of the 106 year life of the house. The exterior wood was never painted. Stain is far superior to paint, a surface film, because it can breathe and allow moisture to pass through the exterior finish system. Whereas paint traps any moisture that gets within the wood or behind the paint within the wood. This leads to rotting of the wood. In addition to the aesthetic virtues of stain, stain is far superior than paint in performance as an exterior finish system.
Most of his works from that period (willits, bradley, henderson, hickox) were stained with an oil-based Cabots transparent stain, which tends to break down over time. Creosote was used primarily for roofing shingles. It may have been the owner that decided to protect the wood in this manner.......
Original in-place and salvaged Cypress board and batten siding which we stripped this summer: Cabot's semi-transparent stain.
Limited amounts existing cedar board and batten siding which was patched into walls in the 80's and which we stripped last summer; Cabot's semi-solid stain applied normal. Eventually it will be replaced with old growth Cypress after other more pressing issues are addressed.
Recovered old growth Cypress which will be used on the west facade, including the reconstruction of the 1901 bay, and on the reconstructed fascias: Cabot's semi-solid stains applied with a dry brush in a light manner.
We are striving to replicate the original finish and avoid having it look like it has solid stain applied to it. Solid stain looks too much like paint.
We have multiple fragments of the original cedar shingles which we will have tested to determine the originqal finish system, if any, for them.
As an aside, the interior stained wood trim was finished prior to its application to the walls.
post could accomplish, that would be instructive: edit that post by breaking the long URL link in the middle, jumping to the next line. If
there is no space made at the break, the link should operate. It would be interesting to see if this would reformat the thread to its former width. In
the meantime, all posters can linebreak their posts after every second line in the posting box, which will make their posts fit within the normal
archfan ? Welcome to the board -- and thanks for the help !