EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.
This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
I have been testing this product on samples of Cypress to see how it would perform. Samples were set out with 3 coats of the product, facing due south and located near the ground such that it would be located on the kick plate of a French door. Sample was placed May 2007 through today.
This product is terrible. I am really surprised Wright owners are saying this is the best product out there. I also tested darker colors of the same product with better results. But, Natural Light is really the color Wright visioned for his Usonians.
I donâ€™t think technology exists yet.
MY COLOR TESTING:
MORE COLOR TESTING ON HOUSE:
You can see the previous owner used an Olympic stain product with a redish tint. Both product and color are terrible.
Here is information I gathered for my Architectural Consulting firm. Here is Baird redone about 2 years ago in one of the dark Sikkens colors (Natural Oak). Haynes should turn out like this or better. I am very busy now working on several client projects. However, other Wright Usonian owners are more then welcome to contact me. Photo taken by RJH with owner's permission:
Does anyone know of any other products?
(Left to Right):
Natural, Natural Oak (same as Baird pic), and Teak (The Teak sample was not exposed to the elements).
As I have discovered from this research, Sikkens darker colors perform best over the Natural Light color that Wright would most likely have chosen. The Teak color is what we will probably use on Haynes. I would prefer Natural Light but it will be impossible to remove all the current dark stain. Furthermore, I want something dark so it will performance well over time.
I also had a representative from Sikkens come out to Haynes for a formal evaluation. He confirmed what I just mentioned above.
I also visited Mr. Reisley of the Reisley House. He had his entire house done with Sikkens Natural. He also confirmed the dislike of the â€œorangeâ€� color and mentioned how Wright would not have chosen it. I have also been to Zimmerman and contacted the curator. She mentioned they used Sikknes Natural as well. All organe.
I guess it is not a science but an art.
From "Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House, The Birth and rebirth of an American Treasure" by Barbara Kimberlin Broach, Donald E. Lambert, AIA, and Milton Bagby. Pomegranate publish.You might also try the Rosenbaum House Foundation in Florence, Alabama. I believe they also went through an extensive color sampling process.
Page 60 and 61
There is quite a bit before this paragraph talking about sanding the wood for ever.. then it says..
"Don Lambert began researching products with which to refinish the newly sanded wood. "The Sikkens Company has a research facility in Pontiac, Michigan. We sent them samples of the old and new cypress, as well as the fir plywood we used for the ceiling. We tried to find some samples of the old wood taken from protected areas, out of the weather and direct sunlight. Sikkens formulated two different batches of stain because the new wood absorbed differently than the old wood. The exterior finish also had UV protectant added."
Work was completed in 2002. I have some photos on my site taken on Oct 26,2007. The wood looks great, IMO..
We find it hard to believe that Wright would prefer the degraded surface of Pew (above, in grayed cypress) to the almost cabinet-grade (or certainly boat-grade) finishes on the other two examples. His own sanctum at Taliesin
shows similar finishes. Yet the exteriors of that same complex (Taliesin North) had rough and dry exterior woodwork during Wright's final decade, at least. I believe he liked it that way.
The problem with (artistically, poetically) weathered surfaces is that they are not able to be maintained in that state indefinitely, while more highly-finished (and protected) surfaces can, with periodic renewal of finish, (potentially) be kept intact indefinitely.
As for color, Mr Wright, and many many fine woodworkers through the centuries, would all agree that the best thing to do to wood is to let its own color show through a clear finish. The principle reason to stain is to bring disparate colored boards (each of which, within one specie and one forest, will have different tones and values of the same basic color) into better harmony with each other. This need is amplified when the effects of water-staining and other deterioration are found on old exterior surfaces. So, although one could disparage the addition of toners to the clear finishes shown above, the alternative would be to display, and even exaggerate, the irregularities of color and value in the (invaluable) original boarded surfaces of these houses.
[Architectural terminology: All doors (except slab doors) will have top and bottom rails (the horizontal frame members) and vertical stiles. A kick plate is an added element, normally of heavy sheet metal such as brass, which protects the bottom of a door from abuse. On frame-and-panel or French (fully glazed) doors, this will be fastened to the bottom rail.] [Strictly speaking, French doors are those which open in pairs; a single glazed door would not be a French door, by the original definition.]
On the exterior, he was only interested in the natural characteristics of the wood as far as it helped define the architecture. I feel he never intended the current Rosenbaum "look", which is a more common and perhaps more visually appealing treatment (i.e. a neatly painted clapboard). His usual preference of no/little treatment indicates he had no problem with weathering (it wasn't his problem anyway!) and was not at all concerned about longevity either-it was always the architectural context and the nature of the material he wanted to express.
On the interior, the need for daily utilitarian tasks such as dining and writing (as well as dust and preventing slivers) obviously required finishes to make a house usable. This may be stating the obvious, but it is a good example of how in every way Wright bent "reality" to accommodate his art as he saw fit, and he simply did not want an artificial look to his architecture-on the exterior at least.
He would chuckle, if not protest, the concern and great effort many go through to preserve for the sake of preservation alone (especially the most finicky). Ironically, it does trump the architectural component he desired with the weathering, and opens the door for just about any rationalization in other aspects for preserving a Wright building. I actually have to agree the weathering adds more character, but then it is not my investment!
So if the wood is not sealed or protected, and it is left to weather, Over time does it finally break down and fall apart? Or does it just give it that really worn, grey look?..I actually have to agree the weathering adds more character, but then it is not my investment!
It is interesting to think what Rosenbaum or Jacobs would look like with the wood worn and faded. The video that was linked by TNguy (another post) showned the Rosenbaum pre restoration. And it did have a more worn look.
I am just wondering if that is what Wright wanted, would the home be able to stand up to it over time if not protected?
Jim asks the pertinent question. It seems hard to argue that, in the above view of the Lloyd Lewis terrace, the parapet boards that are so obviously warped and (on the far left) split, would have gotten to that state if they had been protected by a finish since new.
Incidentally there appears to be a change of color at a point about 2/5 of the way from the left end, in the photo above. It looks like there may have been a stain or finish experiment done here. . .?
Also the bottom horizontal member of a door or casement window is a rail not a kick plate.
Your samples clearly illustrate that you did not apply finish to the end grain on some of the samples an important surface that requires finish as well. If you look at the examples of the Braid and Rosenbaum you will note that there are no end grain surfaces exposed to the elements for they are protected by their respective stiles.
Wood absorbs moisture on all six surfaces, it appears you did not apply Sikkens to important moisture absorbing surfaces.
For best results on doors and casements the endgrain of the stiles must be coated as well. And for the finish to last 3,4 or 5 years all previous coatings must be removed correctly. Removed to fresh ,clean wood.
I have used Sikkens for the past 8 years on the Dobkins and could not be any happier with the results. ( I have followed proper cleaning and application techniques) I welcome any one to visit us, that is interested
in using this product, and you can see for yourself.
If I could be so bold...
There is no better open coating exterior finish for wood on the market!