Late 18th Century Painted Windsor Arm Chair Seller M Finkel &; Daughter
Some windsor chairs were made of woods like mahogany or walnut, which were more expensive than those chairs made of oak, birch, maple, hickory and ash. It wasn't uncommon to find Windsor chairs made from different styles of woods. Often times these chairs were painted to disguise the mixture of timber. The most common colors used were dark green, brown, black, red, yellow and white were also quite popular.
The earliest British and American Windsors were painted, and later on in the 18th century many chairs were grain painted, and then coated with a darker color before being coated with linseed oil and a paint color. With wear and use use, the paint would wear off around the edges and showed off the paint colors underneath. The paint back then was much thinner than it is now, so I am sure it wouldn't take long for the paint to wear on the seats.
Many collectors look for the original painted chairs because of the natural distressing of years of use. It simply looks nicer than any faux distressing that is man made. Over the next several decades, furniture makers across New England made improvements to the chair, including the continuous arm addition. Today Windsor chairs can be found painted many different colors.
Handcrafted Windsor Chairs by Chris Harter