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The industrial revolution made it feasible for wide scale production mouldings, but it was not until much later that prefinished picture frame moulding became available. Likewise at Vermont Hardwoods we started out with only an unfinished product. With the advent of a recession in 1989-90 we decided to broaden our appeal by offering a basic finish to our mouldings. As time has progressed we have refined and added to our offerings, and expect to continue to do so as the market dictates.


There is considerable variation in color in the final product, as wood naturally varies. Further, most woods change color somewhat with age and exposure to light, some quite dramatically. Cherry and Mahogany are especially susceptible to darkening, appearing almost to change into a completely different species. While more subtle, Walnut actually lightens and becomes more of a golden color over a long period of time. If matching the sample is important to you or your customer we suggest you look at our New Traditions line.


There is no finish whatsoever. Our moulding is run through a moulder by trained personnel for a smooth, consistent surface. Additionally, the wide flat surface of most of our mouldings is sanded by our wide belt sander.


The surface is sanded and prepped just as we do for our own Oil & Wax finish. This involves hand sanding with a random orbit sander on flat surfaces, hand sanding all curves, and finally a special fiber removal process to clean the surface and open the pores of the wood for proper finish penetration.

Oil & Wax

After sanding the moulding as described above, we apply an oil finish with is allowed to dry for 1−2 days, depending on the type of wood. After the oil is hardened, we smooth it with synthetic steel wool and apply a liquid wax. When the wax is dried, the finished product is buffed to a rich, soft sheen.

For details on the oil and wax we use, see the supplies page.

New Traditions

For those who would like a wider range of colors than natural wood, we offer what we hope will become a New Tradition − stains, paints and washes that highlight a naturally occurring asset of the natural wood. We custom blend our own sheens based on the color of the finish, as differing colors represent their own unique character.

Although these stained finishes guarantee a more consistent coloring, there will still be some variation in color and grain. However, the parameters will be much narrower than with the natural finishes.

Below are descriptions of each of our New Traditions finishes.

Aged Designed to give a naturally aged appearance of the natural wood after 3−5 years of typical conditions
Antique Portrays the deep, dark coloring of an extremely old piece of Cherry or Mahogany
Black Cherry Dark, almost black, but with a hint of red showing through − while natural cherry has almost no chance of ever looking like this, it is a beautiful color and may match well with commercially produced items
WhiteWash Allows you to see the grain and some of the natural color through a light white color with a cloudy appearance − sometimes called pickled or just plain wash
White Opaque white paint finish − looks grainy on Ash, smooth and clean on Maple
Clear Lacquer One step brighter than the Oil & Wax, it also imparts a slightly higher sheen
Padauk A rich purple to mimick an exotic, but on a domestic wood
Special Dark Provides a nice even chocolate brown with the sheen of a satin lacquer finish
Ebony Gray/black with a hint of warmth from the walnut showing through
Satin Black A thin black paint on Walnut allows the grain to show through and is very beautiful in a quiet, elegant way; also available on Maple for those projects where a sleek, smooth look is desired

Finish Pictures

These pictures give an idea of what the finishes look like. Please note that color and grain vary somewhat within each species of wood. Also be aware that wood changes color over time.

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Oil & Wax

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Clear Lacquer

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Black Cherry

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Rising White

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Rising Warm White

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Special Dark

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Satin Black

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Light Grey

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Medium Grey

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Dark Grey

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This is a key for the finish codes, which can be used in the chop footage calculator or when ordering by fax or email.

1 Light Grey
2 Medium Grey
3 Dark Grey
A Rising Warm White
B Special Dark
C Charcoal
D Black Cherry
E Ebony
F Oil & Wax
G Aged
I Rising White
K Satin Black
L Clear Lacquer
M Mission
P Padauk
Q Antique
R Raw
S Sanded
T White
W WhiteWash