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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 08-06-2015 12:15 AM 901 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2250 days

08-06-2015 12:15 AM

Hey guys it’s been a while.
Hope everyone is doing well and happy building.
I’ve been doing pretty well with my furniture business. I’m still eating….barely. lol

If there is one thing that gives me more problems than anything in this business, it’s finishes.
I do good finishing, but sometimes I don’t always seem to get the same thing the customer has in their head.
Did some outdoor Adirondacks for a customer who gave me a paint number, turquoise, and I made and painted him a set. Despite the sealer on the knots, they bled through causing mild discoloration. He was upset. I offered to replace the affected boards, but never heard from him again.

Today I delivered a providence bench that I grayed out by using green tea and vinegar with steel wool. I asked her if she wanted it top coated, told her it would yellow the pine a little and she said yes. I get an email from her and she’s all depressed that it won’t match her other furniture.

I tell you, this barnwood craze has just as many problems as fine walnut and cherry. You’d think anyone who likes distressed wood would like pretty much anything that looks like it came from some old forgotten barn, but they even get picky about that.
Here’s a pic of the bench.

So you guys have any finishing nightmares?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

4 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5401 posts in 2229 days

#1 posted 08-06-2015 03:11 AM

Russ, just goes to show you can blow sugar up their butt and they’ll still gripe that it scratches. On a more positive note, that is a rally handsome bench. The ol ‘battle axe has got nothing to complain about.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2333 days

#2 posted 08-06-2015 11:21 AM

First of all, nice looking bench, Russell.

I think the first guy had a fair expectation that the painted piece would not have knots showing through. Sounds to me, however, like you made a honest attempt to make it right. Disappointing that he didn’t give you an opportunity to provide some customer service.

I think that, unless the second lady provided you with a sample piece to match, she’s hopefully learned a lesson. Can’t match a finish that has not been provided to you.

Nothing else to do but keep on building.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Redoak49's profile


3193 posts in 1952 days

#3 posted 08-06-2015 01:08 PM

I think matching colors especially stain is one of the most difficult parts of woodworking. Very few people know how difficult and time consuming it is to finish a project. It is hard enough for me as a hobby woodworker. I can not understand how you work the costs and time into a job bid.nisi

View FancyShoes's profile


550 posts in 1328 days

#4 posted 08-06-2015 01:25 PM

Im glad you brought up this topic, i never really thought about this as a potential problem. Glad it is something to think about for future projects.

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