Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Staining wood trim for a 1910 craftsman?
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Staining wood trim for a 1910 craftsman?

We recently purchased a 1910 craftsman style bungalow. All of the trim is white-which would be fine, but the previous owners never removed the old paint or sanded it down, they just painted another layer of white over the chipping paint that was already on the trim and around the windows. Needless to say-it is not pretty. I had a friend tell me that "back then" when the house was built, it would have been a stained wood, not white trim. So we want to stain all the trim-or most of it. My question is this: do we stain the wood to match the wood floors? Because I hate the color of stain on these floors and I plan on refinishing them in the near future anyways. Is there a general "rule" about staining wood with wood floors?

Re: Staining wood trim for a 1910 craftsman?

I don't know if there is a general rule or not, I'm no expert on it either. But I'd say if you plan on refinishing the floor later, you can match the the stain accordingly. Keep in mind the trim and the floor may be different wood species. I would also Google interior pics of 1910 period Craftsman homes and see if what they did. Good luck and have fun.


Re: Staining wood trim for a 1910 craftsman?

randy is right, matching the stain on old wood can be a bit of a art. reason being different species of wood, old growth, and the wood becoming darker as it ages. consulting a master floor refinisher may be a good idea, they have done it so many times they know the wood and the stain colors by heart, they can tell you what you need to do. you may have to mix stains to get the correct tone

the other option is to go with a complimentary tone as well to make the room "POP" that much more when you walk in

Re: Staining wood trim for a 1910 craftsman?

It's typical to have had a mix of painted and natural-finished woodwork throughout the house. Best rooms (entry, living/parlor, dining) would often be wood, and bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen would be paintwork.
If you're considering stripping, if you're lucky enough to find a layer of original shellac, you have a straightforward path to getting what you want; use a heat gun or Silent Paint Stripper to soften the paint and peel it off with various tools (screwdrivers for corners and beads, putty knife and s c r a p e r s for the flats) which will get you 95% there. Then use a liquid stripper chemical (I strongly recommend Kutzit) to remove the last 5% of the paint, and the old shellac (In old houses, it's usually shellac as the varnish). Use all lead removal precautions.
Using heat over old shellac as the major force of stripping (instead of going straight at it with chemicals) is the fastest and most efficient process. (but: Don't char the wood.) It will result in the cleanest stripping job, and your work will all match the original appearance of the trim as it was intended to look.
If the wood had paint originally, it's going to be darned near impossible to go back to wood. In a case like that, it's worth considering having the molding profiles duplicated (in the wood of your choice), and scrapping the original wood.

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