Why did they paint it in the first place?
We get asked this question so often, we had to do a bit of research (and sleuthing) to make a few educated guesses. Here’s what we’ve come up with thus far:
1. Back in the day when high quality, virgin forest wood was plentiful, it was less valued than it is today. In fact, homeowners actually got tired of it! Sometime around the early 1930’s, then, painting this wood became a fad. Everyone was doing it!
2. Lack of knowledge of wood refinishing is another reason things get painted that would look better with a natural patina. Painters don’t want to, or don’t know how to deal with it. Not knowing how durable this old wood is, homeowners falsely assume blemishes and stains in wood are irreversible. So they paint it.
3. Expediency is another reason things get painted that should never have been painted. It is easier to paint over the surface than it is to carefully remove old finishes, reverse damages, and refinish it.
4. Many interior designers don’t like natural wood on interiors. The complexity of color and patterns in wood constrain their decorating options.
All that is well and good, but who can explain this one?