“It’s Finished.” Series part 1
Walnut Kyoto, Caldo Lacquer Habileur, Crackle Fiesta
A finish is a special top coat or layer that is applied to a substrate, luxury furniture in our case, to make it more beautiful or durable for its intended use. At the Wendell Castle Collection, we use a wide variety of finishes, even offering limitless custom finishes when needed. Considering all of the options, finishes can get very complicated, and often misrepresented. Here are some of the basics to help you understand all of the finish options at The Wendell Castle Collection.
Substrate (the flesh)
Wendell is a great sculptor of wood so, as you would expect, we work primarily in wood. Solid wood is primarily used when we are sculpting or where the structure requires extra strength. Veneer is typically used for exotic species, which may not be available in solids, or where the design requires something special that can’t be done with solid wood. Solid wood and veneer are available in a great number of species, like Mahogany, Walnut, and Oak, as well as different figures or looks, like plain sliced (with cathedrals), and rift (straight grain).
Sizzle 3 & 4 Pod Tables
When the form overcomes the practicality of wood, we will create a piece in fiberglass, or plastic resins, which can be molded into limitless shapes that are painted to achieve fine aesthetics. Our highly regarded Sizzle tables are examples of these sculpted pieces which utilize fiberglass forms
Color (the underwear)
To enhance mother nature’s colors on our wood finishes, we frequently use water-based stains, which provide consistent and easy to match colors, while being environmentally friendly. The wood stains are also completed in multiple steps, including coats of sealer, stain, toner, and ceruse (color that stays only in the grain), to accomplish a variety of colors and effects and meet the design requirements of any interior.
Bleached Walnut MC3 & Quilted Moabi Sizzle
Fiberglass pieces are most often painted to achieve one of two looks, crackle or lacquer. The crackle finishes are quite complex, using as many as 8 paint colors, and “crackling” or shrinking the paint multiple times to achieve the desired effect. For lacquer colors, we use the highest quality DuPont paint system, which is also used on custom automobiles, and allows us the flexibility to match any color possible. The paint is so durable that lacquered Wendell Castle pieces such as Morocco and Karma are often used outdoors.
Top Coat (the clothes)
None of the paints, stains, or crackle finishes would be durable without the top coat. This is a layer of pre-catalyzed lacquer, urethane or polyurethane that seals and protects the substrate and color while providing desired sheen, or shininess. In some cases, the top coat will follow the texture of the wood grain or crackle. Typically, with the exotic woods, we will fill the grain so that the top coat is applied to a smooth surface and can then be polished to achieve a glass like surface, just like the top coat on the lacquer paint finishes.
Fiamma Lacquer Morocco & Moabi/ Walnut Sorcerer
When someone specifies a finish, often we use a single word, like “Mahogany,” or “Ebony.” However, each finish has all of these layers, substrate, color and top coat that contribute to its beauty and durability. They also allow us to offer a wide variety of finishes to perfectly match any interior, which means we can custom make a finish to a customer’s color specifications. At the Wendell Castle Collection we are always up for the challenge.