World Class Architecture
For the first hundred years or so, the colonies of America allowed the exterior surfaces of their homes and shelters to weather naturally. The Early American tradition of allowing timbers to weather naturally can be considered the first method of finishing. Later, people, in general, used paint on the surfaces. Today, interest is revived in the colonial tradition of rustic finishes and natural beauty of weathered wood.
Beyond the comeliness of wood and timbers exposed for aesthetic appeal, the life expectancy and unity with future potential coatings are influenced by the process of exposure to weather. Structures left unfinished has lasted for centuries.
The process of naturally exposing timbers to the weather modifies the molecular structure of the wood. Generally, within two months of being exposed to the sunlight, light woods will become darker and dark woods will become lighter. The progression of weathering is influenced by many factors, e.g. extent of exposure, the density of the material, the rate of growth, extractive and lignin content. The more exposure the faster the rate of weathering.
Although the beauty of naturally weathered wood can be pleasing, the initial changes to becoming a seasoned surface is a slow development with varying results.
Weathering through commercially prepared bleach is the perfect alternative. The stain is water base bleach with a silver-gray pigment finish that is allowed to soak for hours and then exposed to sunlight. There is no restraining of the timbers. The longer the timber basks in its environment, the more beautiful the timbers become.