Ercol Finishes

Updated: Jun 8

With a variety of modern finishes to choose from, can you age your Ercol by its finish?

Ercol 518 Bureau
Ercol 518 Bureau

Modern Ercol comes in an array of woods, tints and finishes. This got us thinking,

Can you age your Ercol by its finish? We buy a lot of our furniture either unseen or from a grainy photo so sometimes it is not until it arrives and we clean it that we can glean its true age and finish.

So what Ercol finishes are there and how have they changed over time?

Ercol Wood Finishes

Old Colonial/Antique/Traditional Finish

Not to be confused with the Ercol range of furniture bearing the same name. Began in the 1930's and changed name in the 1980's. Often referred to as 'Dark' finish. Consistent, even colouration. Can appear slightly reddish. Likely to be plenty of knots present. This finish changes little with age.

Ercol Old Colonial, Ercol Antique, Ercol Traditional
Ercol Old Colonial

Natural Colour Waxed Finish (began in the 50's)

Quite pale or slightly orange. Clouds with age. Not always beech or elm. You may be able to feel the grain more as old wax has melted in to the wood. Older pieces can really dry out.

Ercol Natural Colour Waxed Finish Sideboard
Ercol Natural Colour Waxed Finish Sideboard

Light/Natural Finish

In the late 50's Ercol opted for a harder lacquered finish rather than wax, providing slightly more water and heat resistance. This is often referred to as 'Blonde'. On beech it stays light and can cloud, whilst on elm it darkens considerably with age. Very few knots are present. The more modern the light finish, the paler it will be, particularly on ash and Canadian elm (which replaced a lot of the British elm lost to Dutch Elm disease) which has a much straighter grain and can look almost bleached.

Ercol Light Finish, Ercol 476 Sideboard, Ercol 355 Studio Couch, Ercol Grandfather Chair with Footstool, Ercol  459 Coffee Table with Magazine Rack
Ercol Light Finish

Pine Finish

Used in the 1970s and limited to the Pine Line. It's the same light finish but applied to Pinewood, the grain will be distinctly different as will the style of furniture.

Ercol Pine Line
Ercol Light Finish on Pine

Golden Dawn

Became available in the 1980's. It tends to be darker around the edges, corner, arm and leg ends. It has more knots than light finish but fewer than Traditional. On elm it can darken slightly with age.

Ercol Goldsmith Chairs in Golden Dawn Finish
Ercol Golden Dawn

Fruitwood and Maple

Became available in the 2000's for particular ranges such as Scala.

Ercol Scala Maple
Ercol Scala Maple
Ercol Finishes, Ercol Light Finish, Ercol Fruitwood Finish, Ercol Golden Dawn Finish, Ercol Traditional Finish

So which Ranges go with which finishes?

Why not join us for 'What's that Finish?' over on our Facebook Page or the Ercolytes Facebook Group?

For more tips and advice, follow us on Instagram, Facebook or via the website


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