By this blog post you may have noticed a pattern beginning to develop: The brands and products talked about in this blog are the “winners”. As retailers, our favorite brands and individual products are often the ones we choose for our own projects here. Given a good sample of products to choose from, we choose the best; in time our bests end up becoming our favorites. In prior blog posts we’ve mentioned Ram Board and Farrow and Ball. Another of these brands/lines is General Finishes.
General Finishes may be a new name to most reading this blog post, because their primary focus is not on their image or appearing to be the biggest– they’re concerned with being the best. Having the best products, and having the best support for retailers that they can is their goal. Those who have had hands on experiences with their stains can say with certainty that it’s remarkable. One of our favorites here is the Ready to Match stains. This water based stain system is virtually a toy-box to us here; the 140 4x5in chips allows us to match even some of the most obscure colors customers have requested! The colors possible from this system don’t stop at 140- by going between colors using the deep rich tints, we can match virtually anything. The tint strength alone is something other stains just do not have.
For example: Recently a customer brought in a burnt orange stain, on 100 year old chestnut wood. It was aged, and had a deep patina finish. There’s no way to duplicate that with any other stain. With the RTM system, Van Pisarri (our stain maestro) could find a chip near it, and use the excellent tints to match the color perfectly. He was even able to match the aged look- he was not stuck with the typical “clear plastic finish” that other products can have! Further, these stains retain this richness, as a VOC compliant waterborne! For those not familiar with paint industry jargon, that’s a remarkable feat. This is performance that other oil base stains, (Which in general are superior to waterborne products) aren’t capable of! This VOC compliant waterborne has a minimal odor, a fast drying time (allowing for several coats in the same day), and isn’t flammable.
This excellence continues through General Finishes other product offerings as well. Their Enduro-Var water base looks like an oil, flows like an oil, but works like a typical water base. It dries in an hour, as opposed to the 8 that’s typical of oil stains. It’s two times harder than other water base topcoats! It’s ideal for floors, kitchen cabinets, etc. The durability is excellent. Even their Gel Stain offerings are excellent, again possessing deep rich colors. Succinctly stated: Every niche is covered. Product to product, every offering is dialed in, and an improvement on what’s out there.
For those curious about the company and their ethos, let me state: They’re a company that stands by its products, its dealers, and its customers. This is a model that nearly every business will tell you they follow, but few really do. This model is worthy of mention as several larger companies are now shifting towards a different mindset. Being frank, in a recession, other companies have put quality on the chopping block for consideration, and raised their prices on retailers. In recent days, support from them is nearly evaporating. In the down economy, some companies have opted to take more of the pie, making up for lost revenues by milking it from independent retailers. General Finishes, Farrow and Ball, just to name two, have not engaged in these practices.
The Bottom line: It’s a very ethically run small company, putting out top tier products that are straight out better than other offerings.