Aesthetic Restoration

A finisher’s dream come true

As every boat owner knows, the problem with varnished exterior wood is that it requires regular and frequent maintenance. When it comes to exterior doors on buildings, this has typically meant the doors need to be stripped and refinished every 3-5 years.

But what if I said it didn’t have to be this way? What if you didn’t need to strip away the old finish every several years?  (At least 60% of the cost of refinishing comes from having to strip out that old finish!)  What if, instead, you could keep your exterior doors looking like they had been recently varnished for decades to come, without the hassle and expense of stripping them down to bare wood every several years?

When the wood is finished with our polymerized linseed-tung-oil-finish, this is more than just a dream. It’s a realistic possibility!  Because this finish is a “penetrating finish” (meaning that it soaks into the wood) rather than a “film finish” (meaning that it sits on the surface as, for instance, is the case for all conventional marine spar varnishes), the finish does not need to be stripped out every time it needs to be refinished. Not only is this stripping procedure a substantial part of the cost of film finished restorations, one also has to wait until the finish has degraded enough to justify the whole process.  So, inevitably, the last length of the life of the previous finish  is worn thin, making the door looks pretty shabby for a while.

But this ordeal can be eliminated if our penetrating finish is used. All that is required for refurbishing our finish is a modest maintenance schedule, requiring nothing more than yearly spot touch-up and a 2-4 year thorough cleaning and recoating with two layers of fresh varnish. Not only does this cut down the long-term cost of multiple stripping procedures; it also makes it possible to maintain a “just varnished finish” appearance for decades to come.

And because our finish is composed of the oldest finishing material known to mankind–linseed oil–this finish provides a soft, rich patina that is period-appropriate for vintage buildings and doors.  And yet, because this varnish has been super-hardened by means of polymerization, it is durable enough to also be compatible with contemporary lifestyles. It’s the best of two worlds–classic, old world materials improved by new technology!

These doors were restored eight years ago. They have been cleaned and re-coated once, three years ago.  While they are ready for cleaning and re-coating, doing so will make them look like they had just been refinished.