Our journey to create a new finish sample set actually began about eight months ago.
The initial motivation was to shorten the Pre-Production timeline when a designer choose to send a finish sample to match. If we could provide our designer’s with a comprehensive set of sought-after finishes hopefully we could remove the matching step from 80% of our case good orders.
But like many things here at Buildlane, the process for choosing the right finishes would be… thorough.
Our first stop in researching what finishes to make was our own database of custom orders. My favorite thing was seeing how trends in finish have actually changed a bit in the last five years. Is no one doing high gloss anymore? I wonder.
We also talked to all of our workshops to see what they are seeing. What has their finish departments looked like for the last year? What products are they ordering?
And finally we talked with our clients that are doing lines, what are they prepping for the future?
The hardest part of figuring out this finish sample set was finding something that a handful of different wood shops could agree on. Every finishing department has a slightly different way to finish a piece of wood. They can also have strong opinions on different products.
We talked with all of our shops for months and months, bringing new ideas and seeing their thoughts. It really was quite a process to find something that everyone loved and also could share in the application process – so every piece built using these finish samples would come out the same.
In the end it was Rubio Monocoat that was the big winner. But that was also because of the next topic…
One thing that has definitely been requested more and more in the past year is eco-friendly finishes. We expect these finishes to be something that designers will keep in their library for years to come. For that reason we wanted to future proof their utility.
For this reason we went with oil. Oil is 0% VOC and plant-based.
Sheen (or lack of)
The only side effect with oil that we really were torn about was the sheen. Oil doesn’t take well to polyurethane or lacquer. While many finishes give you the option to specify semi-gloss, satin, etc. oil does not – it finishes flat.
However, at least for the current moment, this is primarily what designers are asking for. Perhaps in the near future we put together a set in water based polyurethane that gives you different sheen options. But for now, flat is king.
Choosing which wood species and finish colors we wanted to use was pretty simple. We just looked in the database to see what has been sourced for custom furniture. We ended up with what we feel is a good (and quite large) collection of the most on-trend and popular finishes.
Here is what the whole set includes.
Getting Your Hands on These Samples
Don’t worry, we have a ton of finish sample kits in stock. We’re first giving them out to our Gold level clients. We’ll be sending an email out on Monday (4/18/22) letting you know. If you don’t hear from us feel free to reach out and we’ll let you know how close you are to Gold.
Once we get our Gold clients taken care of we’ll be offering these to any other interior design firm with a Buildlane account. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be added to the wait list to be notified when they are available.
We can’t wait to see these samples out in the wild! They are great travel companions to client planning meetings!