On May 16th, Jason Jackson and I went to a “color development” seminar held at Atlantic Plywood in Westbrook, Maine. Jason is our very talented finisher, and he’s already got the color development thing down. But in recent months we’ve had many requests for custom finishes; finishes different from those we’ve done in the past.
As I work directly with our customers, it falls to me to understand what the customer is asking for, and to then clearly pass that information along to Jason. We have found that once in a while we run into language issues. We both speak English of course, but he speaks ‘the finishing dialect’ and I speak the ‘never-been-in-a-spraybooth-in-my-life dialect’.
By attending this class with Jason, I hoped to better understand the finishing processes, and to learn the lingo better. Jason hoped to experiment with some clever ways to get the looks our customers are now wanting.
I would say it was a success. Jason was clearly one of the most knowledgeable finishers (if not the most knowledgeable) in the class which ranged from “old hat” to “just starting out”. It was a small group of 8 students, and as such our instructor, Matt Griffin, was able to cater the class to everyone’s needs. Jason was able to experiment, I was able to ask a million questions and try my hand at spraying finishes many times – sometimes with success, sometimes resulting in a bubbly sticky mess.
I learned the difference between a toner, a stain and a topcoat. I learned about different types of topcoats, different ways to apply toners, ways to combine toners and stains to get the look you want.
I think Jason and I are better equipped now to speak ‘finish’ back and forth. And that’s a good thing – because I have a stack of wood chips on my desk that need to be made into finish samples and barely are two the same.