Finishing Steel Casements from the 1920's


Old 06-30-15, 04:32 PM
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Finishing Steel Casements from the 1920's

Our house was built in the 1920's and has all the original steel casements. The exteriors of the windows are painted. The interiors of the windows on the first floor are finished with some sort of copper colored finish as shown in the attached photo. I would like to apply the same finish to the second floor windows but have absolutely no idea what finishing technique was used. It is not the natural steel color.

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Old 06-30-15, 07:26 PM
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Hard to tell what it is from that picture.
If I had to guess it would be factory apply anodized finish or powder coated.
Impossible to do on site.
About the best you can do is clean prime and paint close to that color.
100% sure it's steel not aluminum?
Those old style windows have to be costing you a ton of money with the heating and cooling cost.
Old 06-30-15, 07:33 PM
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Get a cotton swab and wipe it with denatured alcohol. If some of the color comes off on the cotton, its possible that it may be some very old amber shellac.
Old 06-30-15, 09:39 PM
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Definitely steel. Given the age of the house and how original everything is, I assume it is something that would have been typical for the 1920's. I looked at some art supply places and there are patinas that seem like a decent match - the products are for artists to treat metal sculpture. It looks like some sort of copper patina, but it is much to mottled to be paint. Paint looks far too uniform to match what is there now, which is why I think it is a patina or steel treatment.

We live in a temperate area so despite the single pane and conductivity of steel, we only heat and it costs about $700 per year. I created an energy loss model and replacing all the windows (several of which have 40 lights and one has 60) would save perhaps $100 per year, but would cost probably $100,000 to replace.

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