Let’s check in with our Finishing Department

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In the past five years our finishing department has grown into a well trained, well equipped, team of detail oriented professionals. This can be credited in large part to our Finishing Team Leader Steve Pettrone, who with the support and encouragement of management has deftly guided this devoted crew. SteveWith years of flooring installation experience, a strong personal environmental ethos and an easy going swagger that inspires camaraderie, Steve is quite a rock star. In addition to streamlining and updating our processes, he has proudly steered our in-house finishing options away from Tung oils and 2 part polyurethanes to the Zero VOC hard-wax oil finishes that have become the industry standard in the world of reclaimed flooring.

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Steve’s newest addition to our product line is his Custom Grey, Custom White and Custom Black finishes on American Gothic Ash.

There is nothing radical about these finishes. They aren’t groundbreaking or cutting edge. They aren’t Pantone’s color of the year (though we do have plenty of custom one-off finish possibilities, but that’s another story).

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What they are, are well tested, expertly applied, high performing finishes that will expand the tonal options available to both the cosmopolitan designer and the renovating homeowner.

In general, clients come to us looking for authenticity. That’s what reclaimed wood delivers best. The time-worn surface, the rich depth of color found in original patina and old growth wood, the nail holes and fastener marks that testify to a past life. Faux finishes make us cringe. As anyone who has worked in our sample department will tell you, nothing is lamer than receiving a request for a stain that will make red oak look like walnut. Or the request to apply some Rumplestiltskin magic to make fresh-sawn Douglas Fir look like it has weathered grey naturally for 20 years under the Wyoming sun.

We prefer the modernist tenet of remaining true to the material. But we are also aware that natural color tones – no matter how lush – are not right for every project. Our three custom finishes are complex and transparent, highlighting Ash’s tight grain pattern rather than masking it. Like your neighborhood sommelier, Steve has paired finish and wood so that each works to one another’s strength.

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These custom finishes take full advantage of a product that we are very fond of: Rubio Monocoat. This hard-wax oil is favored for its ease in application, maintenance and its tested durability.

Our custom process begins with a wire-brushing to open the wood grain, a hand-applied Rubio “Pre-color” stain which gives the final finish extra depth, and a thorough denibbing which removes any raised fibers.

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At this point the flooring is laid out on a platform and the oil finished is applied with a buffer. We then inspect and wipe down every board by hand and let the finish cure for 24 hours in a rack. Before it is shipped, the finished material is lined with a sheet of protective padding and then wrapped into hand bundles of approximately 25 square feet.

From start to finish, this diligent process is free of shortcuts and it results in a product that we feel is equal if not superior to any prefinished wood floor on the market. Steve is confident that you will agree.

The Opposite of Ash

Ray has been working with a client seeking a sleek, high contrast look and they turned to our good friend Ash to make it happen. We’ve talked a little bit about custom finishes and Ash in particular as a species that is super flexible and looks great with just about any finish you can think of to apply. But if you walk out in to our shop today you’ll see something pretty dramatic.

Rows and rows of black wood planks.

Our custom finishing team is working on the black portion of this three toned color application.  Here, the boards fill the room while finish coats are drying.

Our custom finishing team is working on the black portion of this three toned color application. Here, the boards fill the room while finish coats are drying.

 

The grey boards have a white topcoat that highlights the reclaimed details- grain, nailholes and insect marks.

The grey boards have a white topcoat that highlights the reclaimed details- grain, nailholes and insect marks.

This project calls for Ash to become its own opposite. Dark, smooth and glossy boards will contrast with bright whites and a two-tone grey combination. Not a hint of warm gold to be found.  The finishing team has been dedicated to this project, working their way through multiple colors, wiping and top coat applications, literally hand crafting each individual board.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave works his way through the application of the white finish. Behind him you can see a clock and thermometer. Temperature can be a crucial factor in finish application and successful curing so it's closely monitored.

Dave works on the application of the white finish. Behind him you can see a clock and thermometer. Temperature can be a crucial factor in finish application and successful curing so it’s closely monitored.

 

The blackest boards are sleek and uniform with a smooth satin sheen.

The blackest boards are sleek and uniform with a smooth satin sheen.

 

We’ve found ourselves doing more and more of this custom finishing lately and the team has been having fun flexing their creative muscles, helping put together exactly the right look for our clients’ projects.

I personally can’t wait to see the finished installation…

Keep you posted!

-Roblyn

Not just rustic

We see it all here. Our projects run the gamut from commercial to residential, floors to walls and everywhere in between. And a lot of what our clients ask for isn’t “standard” and doesn’t bear any resemblance to the ‘log cabin’ look people often associate with reclaimed wood. This salon in Boston exudes modern cool with our Weathered White Barn Siding on the walls and reception desk.

The Weathered White Barnsiding helps create a sleek modern look with interest and texture.

The Weathered White Barnsiding helps create a sleek modern look with interest and texture.

In this particular application, the owners needed not only to encapsulate the original paint to prevent flaking but also to make sure that the material met the requirements for the fire code. We were able to help them find a solution that served both purposes- a clear, uniform coating, with a Class A fire rating.

You can see in these images that not only does the coating protect the walls, but it adds a slight sheen.  This touch works to complement the contemporary aesthetic.

You can see in these images that not only does the coating protect the walls, but it adds a slight sheen. This touch works to complement the contemporary aesthetic.

The reclaimed material works throughout all of the different areas of the salon. Here it surrounds the retail product display.

The reclaimed material works throughout all of the different areas of the salon. Here it surrounds the retail product display.

As the planks wind their way through the reception, salon and retail spaces, the distressed wood holds your interest, while the monochrome color scheme keeps the look fresh.  The finish reflects the light and contrasts the textures.  Nothing about this barn wood application says barn.

Until next time!

-Roblyn

Casual Comfort in the Pacific Northwest

We can’t get enough of the pictures our clients share with us when their work is completed!

Recently we received some images from homeowners outside of Seattle, WA. The home, nestled in a wooded setting included existing rugged timbers and Ross worked with them to find a product that would complement the space and their comfortable style. Enter our Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods.

One of our most popular products, the Mixed Hardwoods Settlers' Plank works well with a wide variety of spaces and aesthetics.

One of our most popular products, the Mixed Hardwoods Settlers’ Plank works well with a wide variety of spaces and aesthetics.

The varied colors and textures combine to create a floor that is durable, forgiving and not too fussy. It’s a perfect fit with a combination of vintage and modern accessories. Often we see this floor finished with a penetrating Tung Oil, but here the owner opted for a water-based polyurethane, keeping the color tones lighter and cooler- truer to the unfinished look of the material. It’s a great choice.

The flooring flows throughout the main living space of the home, unifying the various areas of the large open space and on into the office where it is again paired with cool paint tones, warm wood and bright white accents.

One of the great things about a Mixed Hardwood floor is that it goes with everything. Here it is paired with a stained Oak desk top as well as painted cabinetry and trim elements.

One of the great things about a Mixed Hardwood floor is that it goes with everything. Here it is paired with a stained Oak desk top as well as painted cabinetry and trim elements.

The timber elements were existing in the home (though they look like they could have come straight form our yard) and are complemented by they textural variation in the flooring.

The timber elements were existing in the home (though they look like they could have come straight form our yard) and are complemented by they textural variation in the flooring.

 

Our homeowners let us know that they “absolutely love how the floors turned out and get tons of compliments.”

Which is the best compliment that we can get!