Recently we have worked on a number of projects that have required specialty multi-step finishes. Distressed Shutters
have been especially popular lately. This is one of my favorite things that we do, because we do it very well. Lots of kudos must be given to the head of our finish department, Allen. He has both the skill and the willingness to do this type of work.
How does this process work?
Any time we match a finish we request a physical sample. This is incredibly important in specialty finishes because each finish is unique. Did the original finisher have a heavy hand, or a light hand when he wiped off the glaze? What tool was used to do the distressing? A wire brush? Chains? A wheel? There are an incredible number of variables, and since these shutters are often going up against millwork or paneling, it is critical to get a good match.
So we bring a sample that shows the finished look, and the stain department does a strike-off (or sample) of their ability to replicate the finish on your plantation shutters. This is then provided to the homeowner/designer for their approval. Once approved, we proceed with the finish work. Distressed, glazed, antiqued and sand thru finishes are going to have a longer than average lead time, due to the complexity of the finish. But just like fine wine, it’s worth the wait.
Here are just a couple of photos of specialty finishes that have gone through our factory lately.
stained, distressed red oak shutters
exterior shutters with a sand through finish
painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look
As nice as these distressed and specialty finished shutters look, they are all an effort to duplicate an old world look. And the best way to get an authentic old work look is to use old wood.
Enter wormy chestnut……
The short version of the story is its old, like 100 years old. So all that patina and distressing was actually earned by the wood through years of use. Pretty cool, huh? The picture below shows wormy chestnut shutters with a tobacco hued stain. It looks great with a clear finish too, but this stain really gives it some nice warmth. This wood, more than any other wood, is one that people gravitate towards when we put it on display.
Another wood that gives a nice authentic decayed look is Pecky Cypress. This wood has been attacked by a fungus that eats the wood. This in turn makes lens shaped pockets throughout the tree. The result is a very attractive multi-dimensional wood. We treated this pecky cypress hardwood shutter
with a heavy black glaze, thus intensifying the appearance of variation of the surface.
Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish
This is just a sampling of our work that I could pull up quickly this afternoon to show the variety in finishing techniques we use. If you don’t see what you are after, that is only because you haven’t asked us to build (and finish) it yet. Give us a call and lets see what we can do for you!