Long Distance Color Consultation

Impressed with our information about stain color selection this homeowner called us from across the country!

Of course when clients call we are happy to help, but just yesterday we attempted to help someone who was impressed with our color selection process. She begged us to consult her and help her with finite color selection. despite being in California.

This is the second time she contracted with her wood floor refinisher to sand, restain and finish her floors. With a successful go at the process the first time around, she had no hesitation this time. However, as it got down to brass tacks for the stain color this time, the wood guy’s helper whispered to her that her contractor is completely color blind.

Up against splitting hairs on the color, we sent the similar sample pictures of two floor jobs that were similar to her color palate. We suggested she stay on the lighter side. And if needed he could have the helper build color by layering a hint of tint in the seal coat. And if needed he could do the same for each of the two finish coats.

Had we been working with her we would have prepared samples on her floor, with her interior paint, her lighting, etc. We would leave them down and ask her to visit the samples both during the day, and at night as color looks different.  We also might mock up a board showing how we build color by tinting the finish. That way she could be certain in her choice.

If you are thinking of having your hardwood floors sanded and refinished it would be wise to question in depth what the contractor is willing to do in helping you with the stain color selection. It might be prudent to ask if he is color blind. And it might be good to ask if he will take time to provide multiple samples.

You mostly have one shot to get the stain color that you want.

And, it would be best to be on location when the samples are applied. You should require the contractor to supply the can of stain. You should watch him apply it. Then you should compare it to the color chart to make certain you indeed got what you wanted. Or if it is a blend say of 50-50 of two colors, watch that he mixes it correctly.

A refinishing craftsman should have no problem doing this for you. And when it comes to ‘splitting hairs’ he should take you que that you want the color enhanced slightly (as in apply a minute bit of tint in the finish in the direction of your goal).

Honestly I am not sure the caller indeed got what she wanted, she was so afraid of offending him. But hey, look at the situation. How many thousands of dollars was she spending at the risk of not offending her contractor.

Years ago we learned our lesson, and occasionally we still have to work closely with our clients

One couple decided to “go dark” with their floors, and chose a dark color. Well it was a large project, so we had to get about 6-8 cans of the stain the lady of the house selected. With it written down on the contract, she signed off on the stain selection. But then when it was down she tried to tell us it was not her choice. So we referred to the sample that had the stain can sitting next to it. And the sample had blue tape around it that had the stain color written on it with a sharpie. And then, I showed her the receipt of the stain purchase from our supplier and brought in the box with the empty stain cans to prove it. In the end she was happy, but boy there was a lesson learned.

Some folks select color and sheen quickly, while others do not.

Frankly it is surprising how some people decide with little to no thought, and are completely fine with it, while others struggle. In a handful of instances the color selection has been a task. For us it is our goal to help the customer be sure they are happy with the color, and to offer guidance and support as much as possible. And frankly, it can be a bit of test of patience, and in the professional circles I am stunned that other contractors do not have the patience, nor are they willing to take the time to help the customer. And for this particular contractor, it might be worth it to have the helper step in when the stain color consultation takes place.

For the client in California we took it as far as we could to help her.

Not sure how she made out, but clearly she was struggling greatly and overcome that she would embarrass her contractor buddy. We helped as much over the phone, but it sounded like she would not be granted the time to build the color as she envisioned. And when it came down to it we just couldn’t confirm what she wanted from us, because we were not on site.

Make absolutely sure you vet out and grill your contractor about the entire process from start to finish about the job. From preparation, to decisions, to upgrades, to time line, be an educated consumer. Also, be involved in the color and sheen selection, you basically get one shot. And when the work is being done make sure you abide what the contractor is telling you. There are critical times that you have to be very careful while the sanding is taking place, and before during and after the staining and refinishing process. And, there is also things you must be aware of when the floors are done too!

If you prefer to be an educated consumer and want  a contractor who will work closely with you, you have come to the right place! Call Us For a FREE ESTIMATE 609.953.0472 or   CONTACT US ONLINE.