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If anyone has any good experiences or questions regarding wood finishes to share, I'd love to get a discussion going.  There is nothing more elusive than the perfect wood finish.  I understand that Gustav Stickley spent the remainder of his humble days up in his daughter's attic experimenting with wood finishes.  I've experimented with ammonia fuming, nitric acid, lye, and making my own varnishes from madder root and exotic rosens.  Let me know what you have done and what works!

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Dear Randall,

Thank you for your comments and suggestions.  The idea of removing paint on 50 windows with metal scrapers sounds pretty time consuming.  I understand your comment about the patina and the glues, as I have re-finished a few wood pieces using laquer thinner only so the original stain/patina remained.  But for all of these windows, that may have been painted multiple times with oil/lead paint, I do think I will need to strip them.  I'd like to find a way to get rid of the old paint that would leave any patina that might be left. 


You mentioned oil strippers - have you found a brand that you prefer?  The exterior has multiple coats of oil paint.  The inside has fewer layers - maybe the last one is latex, but there are certainly at least 3 - I can see the colors - dark green, mustard yellow, and then beige.  I'm not sure if they were shellaced or painted orginally.   Have you tried the infrared stripper lamps?  I saw a steam stripper, but I think that would raise the grain of the wood substanially.  Any thoughts on the infrared? 


And, do you sell your oil finishes?  I live in Cleveland, OH so it's a bit far to Denver.  I would like to use an oil finish that will be waterresistant or waterproof.  Any suggestions/brands I should check out are welcome.  Thank you.  Cindy

Hello Paul, Randall, and others...  EXTERIOR FINISH PAINTS???


Working on the old windows... 1924 house, double hung - I will also be painting and glazing the exterior.  I've found a few recommendation for Sarco Type M, and one recommendation for a Dutch paint, and another for a German paint.  With all of this work, I'd like the paint and glazing to last forever.  Or at least a good long time.  Thanks for your thoughts and ideas... Cindy  

I'm not familiar with the Sarco Type M or the German paint.  I'm assuming the Dutch paint is an oil-based paint - if so please let me know where you found it.  I was in the Netherlands this past spring and talked to a few painters about the fact that the majority of the homes have painted wood exteriors and they are flawless.  They shrugged their shoulders and simply told me that it has to be oil-based and high gloss and they didn't think it was any more mysterious than that (of course they don't have an extreme climate). Almost all exterior paint finish in the Netherlands is super high gloss. Unfortunately, oil-based paints won't be available in Europe by the end of this year.  Farrow & Ball had a a super high gloss oil paint that I used on my exterior trim that I am very happy with but they aren't selling it in Canada anymore.  Would really like to know about the Dutch paint that you are referring too...   Paul

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments.  The Dutch paint is a Linseed based paint (Allbacks).  I wrote to the company asking questions about the procedures recommended as their website information is conflicting and a bit confusing.  I merely wanted clarification.  One of the owners wrote back and told me to contact the U.S. distributor.  I have since found that there are some mildew problems with this paint as well, so I am not interested.  With all the changes, I am now stuck with Sherwin Williams Duration.  Cindy


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