Pigmented Wood Finish Question for the Davenport House

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pharding
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Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
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Pigmented Wood Finish Question for the Davenport House

Post by pharding »

The poplar wood trim in the Davenport House has a pigment in the finish. We had extensive testing on it. There is no oil residue indicating that the wood was stained. In the FLW Ladies Home Journal Article "Small House with Lots of Room in It" FLW stated "No paint, no stain". The history of the wood trim finish is as follows:

1. Original finish with pigment.

2. Shellac.

3. Shellac turns black with time.

4. Previous owner refinsishes wood back to what they thought was the orginal. Incompetent painter adds black paint to varnish for a "restored" finish system on all wood trim. Result is that all wood trim looks like it has a black paint finish.

5. Wood is chemically stripped by my wood refinsher as part of the 2004 restoration.

6. Wood finish is analyzed by two different companies. Conclusion wood had pigment in the finish, but was not stained with an oil based stain. Original finish is unknown.



Any thoughts on the above as to what FLW was doing in 1901. Pigmented wax? Recently I found original finish with shellac underneath wood trim that was added in 1931. I will have this tested. Who is the pre-eminet company in the US to analyze the finish? Thanks.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Glenn Davis

Wright Wood Finishes, ca. early 1900's

Post by Glenn Davis »

I'm not sure who the pre-eminent company would be. However, as an architect I was impressed with the scholarship of these two papers by Pamela Kirschner, a recent Kress Fellow with the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites, Peebles Island Resource Center. Ms. Kirsch has been involved in restoration efforts at the D. D. Martin house and Graycliff.



http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/wag/1998/WAG ... schner.pdf



http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/wag/1999/WAG ... schner.pdf



Since the Martin project was of roughly the same period as the Davenport Residence, her knowledge and experience might be of some help.



Good luck.

MattCline
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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Post by MattCline »

We ran into something like this with the Westcott house. It was built in 1907/08, but I bet the situation is close enough to at least give you some guideance. I would contact the project's architect, Lauren Burge and see if she can help. She is a restoration architect and she speciallized in paint and stain finished.



To keep her e-mail off the spam scanners, I will just refer you to her web site.



http://www.cmbarchitects.com/



Good luck!



Matt

D. Shawn Beckwith

Testing materials

Post by D. Shawn Beckwith »

I am the Project manager for the Westcott House restoration. From consulting with Schooley Caldwell Associate Architects and Chambers, Murphy & Burge Restoration Architects over the course of this project and historical restorations we have performed with the Ohio Historical Society the names that keep comming up as tried and true professionals in the industry for this type of analysis would be Ms. Sara Chase who Authored a NPS Preservation Brief on historical paint analysis and Mr. Frank Welsh.

I trust this is of assistance.

    D. Shawn Beckwith

    Testing materials

    Post by D. Shawn Beckwith »

    I am the Project manager for the Westcott House restoration. From consulting with Schooley Caldwell Associate Architects and Chambers, Murphy & Burge Restoration Architects over the course of this project and historical restorations we have performed with the Ohio Historical Society the names that keep comming up as tried and true professionals in the industry for this type of analysis would be Ms. Sara Chase who Authored a NPS Preservation Brief on historical paint analysis and Mr. Frank Welsh.

    I trust this is of assistance.

      MattCline
      Moderator
      Posts: 70
      Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:21 pm
      Location: Springfield, Ohio
      Contact:

      Post by MattCline »

      Thanks Shawn! I knew you would have a line on this as well.



      MC

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