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Help refinishing wood trim circa 1860


I am restoring a building built in 1860. There are 17 large windows 3' x 7' 6" tall on the second floor. The six front windows were replaced with a cheap vinyl replacement. Nine windows are still intact with the old wavy glass and two have just the trim and no sashes.

I utilized an infrared heater to remove four layers of paint. The old varnish coating was still under the layers of paint and the infrared heater boiled the varnish under the paint which made paint removal very easy. The trim was then subjected to two applications of heavy duty paint stripper which removed any remaining paint and varnish. The trim was then washed with mineral spirits and steel wool twice.

I am now at the finishing stages and am stuck trying to make material selections. I am thinking of using a tung oil varnish with a translucent mahogany stain mixed in for a finish. The old varnish was dark with a slight dark red tint. The window trim will have brick walls for a background. Any other thoughts to a finish?

I am also not sure how to go about applying the selected finish. I think I will sand the wood surfaces slightly followed by a wiping down with mineral spirits. Let it dry. Should I then use a sanding sealer before a finish?

If anyone has any suggestions it would be much appreciated. I am stuck and not sure which way to finish the gorgeous trim. The wood appears to be fir. It is very hard now and has a tight grain pattern.

All of the windows will be replaced with a Marvin Ultimate green aluminum clad exterior and pine interior window.


Look forward to your suggestions


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