The finish on a piece of furniture is the final touch that highlights the design of the furniture and shows off the beauty of the wood grain. Finishing is a process that includes correctly preparing the wood, applying color, highlighting, applying clear finishing coats, and preparing the piece for its new home.
For some types of wood, where natural color variations cover a wide range of shades, bleaching begins the finishing process. Bleaching evens out wood coloration and presents a more uniform surface for the finishing process.
Sanding is the next step in the finishing process. This occurs long before the furniture reaches the finishing line. Sanding smoothes the wood and prepares the grain to absorb the finishing materials. It also removes any trace of glue that may prevent finish from adhering correctly. Sanding may also take place between coats of finish to soften grains raised by bleaching or finishing.
After sanding, the furniture is placed on wheeled carts for its trip through the finishing line. Removable pieces, like drawers and shelves, ride on their own carts next to their case pieces. This arrangement ensures that all parts are well finished and that all case pieces end up with the drawers that were specifically fitted to them.
The finishing line is comprised of well-lit, open-sided booths that allow the finisher to see every part of the furniture they are working on. Hoses of different colors carry a variety of finishing materials to the spray guns. Ventilation systems pull air through large filters on the backside of the booth, collecting any over spray.
Once furniture reaches the finishing line, it is hand-sprayed with coats of many different colors. These different layers of finish accentuate the design and dimension of the wood and provide nuances that add depth and highlights to the finish. Subtle colorations in finishing impart a beautiful patina to the wood.
The final applications of finish consist of several clear coats of cellulose lacquer that impart a soft sheen. Layers of lacquer coats are rubbed between applications to polish the surface. The final touch is waxing. Then the furniture is packed for shipping.
Shipping cartons and packing materials have been designed to cushion and protect the furniture as it travels from the factory to your local furniture store or into your home.