Updated: Jun 8
With a variety of modern finishes to choose from, can you age your Ercol by its finish?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fruitwood and Maple
Became available in the 2000's for particular ranges such as Scala.
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?
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