Your website is very pretty with lots of large grandiose projects. I just have the rocking chair that my Great Aunt had when she was a little girl. Do you ever work on small projects like that?
Yes! While the large projects are fun (and pay the rent) it is the small chairs and desks that are the heart of our company! It does not even have to be an antique or intrinsically valuable, if it is an item that you cherish and is important to you, it is important to us!
We are having a baby and want to re-use the crib that my wife had when she was born. Do you have finishes that we can bring into our home that are not toxic to a new child?
As father of four grown children, I can proudly state that they are all heathy and survived growing up in a house full of antique furniture. We have done exhaustive research on wood finish chemistry and will use products that will not only “not” poison your child, but may actually outlast them.
We have faithfully watched Antique Roadshow for years and have learned that you should never refinish antique furniture! How dare you run a company that offers refinishing services with all of the damage and destruction to so many valuable historic items.
Well, that is where close to 40 years in the field of antique restoration, conservation, preservation and sometimes “refinishing” come into play. It starts by first analyzing your furniture as to its age, condition, rarity, and how it is to be used in today’s environment. The problem with the information that you have gleaned from A.R.S. is that the items they show you are the best of the best, and the rarest of the rare. The finish that is currently on those items is not the finish that the furniture maker originally applied. The current finish is a mixture of time, age, waxes, polishes, and gravy spills from years of use. With the proper knowledge, we will assess the correct approach to saving your item, whether that is just cleaning, re-coating with like and kind period materials, or a total strip and refinish. Please understand that the only reason that those items ever make it to the show was because of their rarity. The rest of the furniture created at the same time was thrown away because it looked so bad or was falling apart and no one wanted it. You can trust our expertise to guide you through this important process in protecting your heritage.
We hear from the sales person at the kitchen and bath showroom, that since we are in California it is better to buy cabinets that are built out of state.
This is a myth that sales people have been using for years to get you to buy their very expensive box cabinetry. While the San Francisco bay area has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country, the quality and film thickness of the finish are what is in question. Large out-of-state manufacturers are limited to their total output of V.O.C.’s (volatile organic compounds) by the EPA on a tonnage basic. They are using the same finishes that we use, but are limited as to how much material they are allowed to spray on a yearly basis. Most domestic cabinet manufactures apply an average three coats. On the other hand, we can apply as many coats as we believe necessary to protect your woodwork. Couple that with the ability to create any color or finishing sequence that you would like and we can offer you a far better product that will last years longer.
I hear that “water-based” finishes are the only things that will be legal to use in a few years?
I have heard that also, for the past 25 years! While regulatory agencies push for the use of water-based wood finishes through what is called “Technology-driven legislation,” consumers and industry still demand long lasting, durable wood finishes that complement the beauty of the wood. As the automotive industry found out, just because the finish is water-based, this does not mean they are not without major health issues. Due to the inherent chemistry involved with water-based materials most major furniture manufactures (both domestic and European) are staying with low V.O.C. solvent finishes for their long-term durability. Most current water-based finishes emit about the same V.O.C.’s as do modern catalyzed solvent-based finishes. The average life of a properly applied solvent finish is between 15 and 30 years, as opposed to the life span of the average water-based finish is less than 5 years. When it comes to exterior clear finishes, I am told by chemists that formulate these products, that the basic chemistry of the material will never allow a water-based clear to last anywhere close to a solvent-based system.
I work all week, are you open on weekends?
As a local small business owner, I am always available for appointments with customers. Please contact me to arrange a time that is best for your schedule.
I own a Prius; do you offer pickup and delivery?
Yes, with both a van and 12-foot box truck.
My boss asked me to find someone to refinish our corporate conference table before next week’s board meeting. Oh, and the table is always in use. Can you work on it over the weekend?
Yes, we have offered weekend turnaround on conference tables and lobby counters.
I drive an electric car, buy organic and recycle everything that comes into our home. How is your business helping to preserve the environment?
In my days as a Boy Scout we learned about “Conservation of Natural Resources” decades before anyone thought of the ‘Environmental Movement.” We have been “Recycling” wood furniture and architectural woodwork for the past 40 years. This saves forests from being cut down as well as saving history for the next generation. When we finish new items our goal to use finishing materials that will not only last for generation but are also re-coatable and renewable. Other than generating lots of dust, we use low-solvent finishing material that are sustainable. All spent finishing materials and wastes are sent to licensed waste disposal companies and used for power generation.
My parents went away for the weekend and my girlfriend spilled nail polish remover on Mom’s dining table. Can you help?
In fixing the table? Finding you a new girlfriend? Or keeping your mother from killing both of you? Nail polish remover contains acetone, which is the base solvent for the finish on the table. If you are lucky, we can do a spot touch up. If not, you better tell Mom and we can strip and refinish the table. When we are finished, the table will look better than it ever did.
We bought a dining table from C&B when we go married. They told us that the table never needed to be finished since the “natural oils” in the wood will protect it. Now we have children! How can you help us?
Got to love furniture companies that charge you an arm and two legs for furniture, then skimp on any type of protection. Unfinished wood will dry out and start degrading the minute it is exposed to air, dirt, oil, grease, and breakfast. Even if you were to oil your furniture, that offers no protection from the wear and tear of daily life. While no finish will last forever, with the use of a high-grade film finishes, your table will far outlast your children.
I am a realtor, I have a client that is trying to sell their home. They had custom-made cabinetry put into the home 15 years ago and it is looking a little tired and dark. The painter wants to lighten it up with a quick coat of paint. How can you help?
Proper Wood Finishing is the oldest kitchen cabinet refinisher in the Bay Area. In that time, we have saved home owners thousands of dollars in replacement cost. We have also save scarce and valuable wood from the painter slopping on paint that will only peel off. Our goal is to enhance the beauty and value of your home. This can only be done by saving your valuable woodwork. Color changes of the natural wood and the application of new finishes will help you sell your home quicker that a quick coat of paint.
We get mail from this company that will refinish our woodwork in one day. They can offer us any color we want with no dust, odor, or mess. Why should we go through the hassle of stripping and refinishing our woodwork?
Simply put, they cannot refinish your woodwork in one day. They can glaze and overcoat your woodwork which will only cover up the natural beauty and readability of your woodwork with a short-lived water-based finish, that will soon peel and fail. These are all franchise operations that the business owner pays for and after a two-week course is now an expert. In our close to forty years in the finishing/refinishing business, we have seen dozens of these operations come and go. That normally mean more work for Proper Wood Finishing when the franchisee gets in over their head or when their process inevitably fails.