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Subject:
A question on old finishes

CJ in MPLS
As I was navigating the skating rinks that are our freeways this morning, I was thinking about what it would take to build a new garage walk door that matches the front door of the house. The original door was installed in about 1921. It and the wood work in the house are all white oak with a funky stain that I cannot figure out. It is this stain that I'm writing about.

The stain is, as you might expect, brown. However there is a bluish green undertone that is kind of interesting. In direct light the varnish (I think) gets into the act so that we go from the standard brown to a golden brown color with hinds of blue and green peaking out. I like this effect. So long as I won't be poisoning myself, I would like to be able to reprise this effect on replacement trim and some day a door.

Anyone have any insight on how this type of finish might have been done. As a side note, I expect that fashion or market capture was pretty uniform in the early 20's in Minneapolis as all of the houses from this decade in South Minneapolis have this same set of trim details and finish.

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