A Huge Loss … To Seattle and to Boating

Image result for Daly's seattle paint

BANKRUPTCY … This morning I read that Daly’s Paint has closed its doors in Seattle and Bellevue, leaving unpaid debts and nearly $87,800 in customer deposits for orders that have gone unfilled.

The  End of the Future for My Home and for Many, Many Classical Boats … Daly’s is Gone!

Going to Daly’s where  a magician had racks of pigment, will no longer be possible.  This story is sad for anyone restoring an old Seattle home and even sadder for anyone restoring an old wood boat.  Matching stains is very hard. Woods have their own colors and those colors change as the wood ages.  Many of the woods used in classic homes in Seattle used wood that either no longer exists or, if some does exist, can only be afforded by Bill Gates. Wood in old boats is even harder to replace, the old forests are often gone and even if there was new wood, matching the stains is a challenge.

The history of our home tells the story.   Some 40 years ago my wife decided that we needed a bigger mortgage.  So we sold our ohso new house by Greenlake and bought a wreck in what is now a very expensive neighborhood, on Capital Hill.  The wreck was at the limit of what we could afford so we intended  to make up the difference with sweat and angst.  The miscreants who had owned the place had painted out the old, plain cut fir.  Where that did not work, they replaced first growth fir with pine from some tree farm in Alabama.

The good news?  Having grown up on wood boats, I knew how to stain.  We stripped all that paint and replaced the pine with wood we found abandoned in the attic of a lumber yard.  Then we went to Daly’s.  I knew about them because we also owned a boat and Daley’s was famous for making the best teak oil.  I brought some of the old stained wood and samples of the stripped wood and my “new” fir.  I worked with the experts and concocted my own custom stains.  I blended coal tar dyes, likely to fade with time as the new wood bleached, with earth dyes that would last … until now.  We hand rubbed all that wood and it is, if I may be proud, beautiful.

The story of old boats is even worse.  Boats used amazing woods .. varieties of mahogany, oak, cedar that no longer exist. Amazing wood workers, an artistic profession called “joinery,” created both the exterior and the interior of these boats  .. even the wood work in production line boats like Chris Craft was beautiful.  Joiners still exist, but the final step, application of stains, is a skill in itself.  Teak, walnut, white oak, cedar … can be stripped and cleaned but restoring  these woods to their original beauty will need someone who can replace the skills of the magicians from Daly’s.

A court-appointed receiver, Elliott Bay Asset Solutions, is in the process of liquidating the assets of the family-owned business to pay its debts. The receivership process is similar to a bankruptcy, “but typically yields a quicker and better return for creditors,” Olson said, adding that it would ensure an orderly distribution of the remaining assets.

Anyone who believes they’re owed money by Daly’s must make a claim with King County Superior Court no later than April 3, according to documents in the receivership, which was filed Feb. 26.

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