WHY ORDER SAMPLES?
Requesting stain sample boards is a recommended step for those who order a piece of furniture that is to be stained. We recommend it because the color swatches we provide on the web site will appear as slightly different colors on different computer monitors. There is absolutely nothing we can do about that – that’s just the way it is. So if the exact color is important, order samples of the colors you think will be closest to what you want – or make friends with a professional graphic artist who has a color adjusted monitor and has run the calibration routine to be sure it is displaying true-to-life colors and view our color samples on his or her monitor.
WHO CAN ORDER SAMPLES?
Up until recently we offered these sample boards as one of our regular products and they could be ordered in any quantity by any living person on the planet. We did draw the line at interplanetary shipments… have you ever seen the postal rates to Venus? But recently we’ve been getting orders from an increasing number of people who don’t bother to read anything; they see a picture, click a button, enter their card number and assume that everything is as they expect it to be. Then they get huffy with *us* when things are not as they presumed.
We have also made up many sample boards for people who (apparently) were using us only for the color selection, then went elsewhere to have their furniture built. At $5.00 per board we were losing time and money on each one, but considered it a service to our clients… when they were our clients.
So, we now offer color samples ONLY to people who have a furniture order in place with us.
WHAT IS THE COST?
There is no charge at all for this service unless you fail to return the sample boards or damage them beyond use. In this case we will bill the costs of producing new boards, usually $8.00 to $9.00 per board, to your account. Return them before the final payment on your order is billed and there is no charge. We do ask that you be reasonable in the number of samples you request; don’t expect us to provide a couple dozen samples for free. Up to six will get no complaint from us.
We pay the shipping to you, you pay the shipping back to us – we’re even.
HOW ARE THEY SHIPPED?
You may use any method of shipping that is convenient to you as long as it gets the job done (without damage). We use Priority Mail to get them to you because it is fast, reasonably inexpensive, reliable and is convenient for us because we can process the shipment on-line and mail them from here on our mountain. Parcel Post requires driving 5 miles into Newport and standing in line at the Post Office. What we would save in postage is consumed several times over in wasted time.
HOW ARE THEY MADE?
Unless otherwise requested, stain samples are done on red oak, sanded with 100, 150, 180 and 220 grit papers and given one coat of stain that is allowed to penetrate for 15 minutes before wiping off the excess. The stain must cure for 8 hours before applying whatever top coat is required. If you are special ordering the boards, we will use the same wood and finish you ordered for your furniture. Boards we make up for stock use will be finished with semi-gloss lacquer.
Our stain boards are 3 inches wide by 6 inches long. We use “regular” lumber in these boards so they will actually look like the wood used in our furniture. We do not set aside the super clear (i.e. bland) wood, nor do we use the gnarly cut-offs that get scrapped from a project. The name of the stain and any special treatments will be written on the back of the board.
ARE THESE THE ONLY COLORS AVAILABLE?
If a color has the right hue to it but needs to be darker, we can apply two or even three coats of stain. Each coat must cure for a full 24 hours before recoating. If we need to do this the charge for staining your project will be adjusted accordingly for we will be performing the service you paid for two or three times to achieve your desired results. This is not, however, normally required.
If you have used a color from another stain manufacturer in the past you may pass that information along to us and we will attempt to find a source for that manufacturers’ product and use the same stain again on your new piece of furniture. Please do not say something like “The color was Golden Oak, but I don’t remember who made it.” There is no standardization of stain colors between manufacturers and manufacturers do change their own colors as time goes by. Even if the color you used on a piece of furniture ten years ago hasn’t faded in the least, the manufacturers color may not be the same today as it was then.
CAN WE DO CUSTOM COLORS?
Yes, but be forewarned; breaking out the chemistry set and manually custom blending a color is time consuming. Your account will be billed for materials used and $22.00 (as of January 2008) per hour for whatever time it takes us to match your color.
We will require a sample of the color we are to match; either a piece off of your furniture or an actual photograph that shows the true color you want matched. Do not e-mail us a picture… see WHY ORDER SAMPLES above. Printers aren’t any more accurate than monitors.