Friday, December 20, 2013

Fabric Friday: All I Want For Christmas

written by Carolyn

All I want for Christmas is....a new sofa. Well what I really want is an old sofa I can re do but my husband isn’t too keen on that idea. So hopefully I will find a company to make one with one of these amazing fabrics. I’m not sure if it’s the cold weather but I really want a grey tweed-ish or wool sofa. It would do great on hiding stains, and they are extremely durable. Hopefully in a few months I will be able to post an after photo. These are my top picks so far: 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Honey, We Shrunk The Couch!

This past week we were able to save an interior designer in a jam. A new sleeper sofa was ordered and delivered to a client in a  new home.  Except there was one problem.  The sofa was too big for the stairs!
sleeper sofa+3rd floor= long day for FinishPros 

Solution: call FinishPros!

We began by removing the sleeper unit and then the material. This delicate task of removing the material and padding needed to be done extremely carefully since it would be reused. We then disassemble part of the frame and cut the arm. 

 The first attempt up the stairway was a bust and an additional section of the sofa frame needed to be removed. 

Finally after 5 hours the dismantled frame was on the third floor.  After several more hours the material was reapplied and we claimed a successful day!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Whole New Purpose...

Do you have a piece of furniture that doesn't have a place in your home in it's current condition?  Or maybe a friend or relative has a well-made piece that is great structually but not your colors. 

 Consider repurposing that furniture for a whole new look! 

This dresser was an old mahogany piece that we refinished and painted for a customer's young daughter.  The history behind this piece is priceless; it's a dresser that has been in her family for generations....  and the tradition continues with her daughter.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How To Tell If Your Sofa Is Worth Reupholstering

Written by Ben W., Sales Manager

Why should someone invest in having a sofa restored? Why should a person spend 
money on fixing up something old, when the same amount of money can be used at any 
one of the big furniture showrooms to buy something shiny and new?  It comes down to quality.

 The American furniture industry has been outsourced to...well, a country far, far away. 
The last of the true furniture greats left our shores in the early 2000’s for a location due 
east of here, and let’s just say that they decided not to take a friend named quality along 
with them. It’s a shame beyond shames. Some of the most iconic, reputable furniture 
brands (the one’s that made my home state of NC famous) now produce flimsy things 
made of particle-wood, slapped together haphazardly with glue and staples. It’s junk, 
plain and simple, and you’re really lucky if you get ten years out of it. A good sofa can 
last a lifetime and then some.

To over-simplify it: you can either spend $2000 or more on a new piece of junk that 
won’t last you very long, or you can invest around $1500 or so in reupholstery labor and 
fabric in order to give new life to a quality-built sofa -- one that is “built like a tank”. The 
bonus of the latter option is also that you get to customize the sofa to your liking, as 
opposed to picking from the limited selection of a showroom floor.

So before you throw out that heavy sofa you purchased in 1992, or 1978, or even back 
in 60’s, consider that it’s really heavy for a reason. There’s real wood in there. Those 
are coil springs you’ve been sitting on. That’s quality -- it’s Made in America. A great 
upholstery business can restore that sofa to it’s former state of glory, for the same 
amount of money that would buy you something low-quality. 

The logic is all there: if you have a quality sofa,  reupholster.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Protecting your Fabric

We get a lot of questions about what we can do to help prevent stains or wear on fabric. There is a few different options ranging in price.

The first and most common, and easiest, option is to have us fabric treat your pieces before we deliver them. We apply 3-4 coats of a fabric treatment over your pieces and let it dry for about 24 hours. This helps any stains from setting in. While it will not fully prevent any stains it will help if any liquid or dirt is spilled on the piece.

Another option would be to have the fabric back. This process does not protect the fabric against any stains but it does allow it to last longer. Usually this isn’t needed but if a light weight fabric is selected then it might be something to look in to.

The most expensive and labor intensive option is to have the fabric coated in vinyl. This is a great option for a lake house, near a pool or a kitchen table. About one half of our fabrics can be coated in a vinyl which allows you to still have a great color fabric but it will be mostly water proof.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to Entertain Your Guests and Preserve your Furniture at the Same Time

The holidays are upon us, which often means extra entertaining and dinner parties.   We thought it would be a great time to offer some reminders about preventative care for your furniture so that your food is served hot and your table remains beautiful.

Question:  I am hosting a dinner party for 30 guests but worry about people setting hot food down on my recently refinished dining room table.  What's the best way to protect the table but still have it look nice?

The short answer to this question is raised trivets and/or a table pad with a festive table cloth.  If the table is properly maintained throughout the year (see this link here for care instructions), it will help tremendously in preserving the finish on the table.  If for some reason a guest or relative places a hot food item on your beloved dining room table without protection, Finish Pros has published a video here to demonstrate how to get rid of heat rings.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Custom Seat Cushions

Finish Pros was recently asked to create some custom seating for our local YMCA.  As part of their MAJOR renovation, Finish Pros was able to design and install leather bottom cushions with an upholstered back.  Take a look at the finished product!

Monday, December 2, 2013

No Headache Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

As customers review options to upgrade their kitchen, they often look at either tearing out the old cabinetry or refinishing old dated cabinets. The effort and expense of removing old cabinetry is quickly realized once the estimates arrive. This is why many of our customers have chosen to refinish their cabinets. Most cabinets are made with woods that are easily refinished, so why go through a major renovation that can take weeks or longer. Refinishing is relatively straight forward with everything staying intact, including appliances. And yes, you can even use your kitchen during the process!

It all begins with reviewing your current cabinets and providing a door sample with your desired color. Cabinetry is stripped and refinished, which allows for a variety of wood tone colors or as example a paint color to be used such as White or Bone. All the cabinets are custom colored, so if glazing is also desired that can easily be achieved.

Once the color is selected, your doors and drawers are picked up and brought back to our facility to be stripped and colored to your specifications. While these doors and drawers are at the shop, a crew will work onsite to prepare your kitchen so that the face frames and side panels can be colored the same as your doors and drawers. The onsite activities typically are around 2-3 days depending on the size of the kitchen or if any millwork will be added. To enhance the kitchen, many customers like to add crown molding or light rail to the cabinetry, or even add solid wood raised panels to the end panels of cabinets.

Once the onsite work is completed, we bring back your doors and drawers and install them using existing or new hardware in usually about a half day.

So with a new color and potential new upgrades like crown molding and hardware, your kitchen will look beautiful without the high costs of cabinet replacement!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Soggy sofa? We can help!

Don’t settle with your furniture looking slouchy and old! New life can be brought to your piece by simply replacing the foam and padding. A common problem of misshaped and uncomfortable cushions can be addressed by simply replacing the original lower quality cushions with heavier weight foam and proper padding giving you 15 -20 years of comfort.

Yes!    This can typically be done without reupholstering your item!

Foam Facts
  • Typically two numbers are referenced in identifying and referencing foam
    • The first number relates to the density or weight per cubic foot.
      • A lower quality foam or furniture industry foam typically weighs 1.5 lbs -2.0 lbs per cubic foot. This lower quality foam will look and feel great for an estimate 3-5 years and will then lose its comfort and become misshaped.
      • A high quality foam is Finish Pros standard. This foam is heavier in weight at 2.5lbs-2.8lbs per cubic foot. This foam will hold its comfort and shape for 15-20 years
    • The second number related to the firmness and is referred to as compression in the furniture industry
      • an example of this is a very firm cushion may have a compression level of 50lbs, a medium firm cushion may have a compression level of 34lbs and a super soft cushion may have a compression level of just 16lbs
  • Foam cushions are typically feature additional padding with synthetic batting called poly dacron or encased in a down wrapped envelope. Upholsterers will typically wrap cushions in order to achieve a crown or round effect.
  • Spring Down cushions have light weight steel springs as a core and are boxed on all sides and sandwiched in a down filled muslin pouch

A great sitting piece of furniture is different for each person. Understanding where and who is sitting in the furniture is extremely important. Many new sofas are made with ultra thick cushions measure in excess of 6” thick. This can become problematic for individuals with back problems or the elderly. In these instances making the cushions thinner may drastically alter the appearance of the furniture or make the seat sit too low. Instead of reducing the thickness of the cushion I have combined different types of foam to achieve the perfect sit. An example would be replacing the foam in an 8” thick cushion using a firm 70lb foam topped with a 31lb medium firmness foam.

A down feather look look can be achieved without the duck! Many clients have requested a soft plush feel but didn't want the hassle of constantly re-fluffing or feather constantly poking out of the cushions. This can be achieved by using synthetic pilled poly dacron that will give a similar feel to down.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do YOU use furniture polish?

While most people have been led to believe that using a spray wax product on your furniture is the best, it actually is the worse thing to use. The reason is, every time you spray the wax on your furniture you add a thin layer of wax that makes it very difficult to clean and maintain. Wax is also very susceptible to water and chemicals.  

You should ideally dust your furniture routinely using  a soft, clean cloth, like an old t-shirt. I like to spritz a little water onto the cloth so that the moisture will attract the dust. If you have heavy dust on your furniture you should wipe in the direction of the grain and then fold the cloth to a fresh area so that the dust will not scratch the surface. This process will remove lint, dust, or grease in most situations. You may also add a little mild soap to your spritzer if you need to clean the surface more. Remove any soapy residue with a clean damp cloth. Do not leave water residue on your furniture. You can lightly buff using a soft cloth as the final step.    

Most fine furniture is finished using solvent based products. Therefore care must be taken to not use solvent based products on your furniture as they can quickly destroy a finish.  A sample of things that should be kept off fine furniture are nail polish remover, hair products, perfumes, and products containing solvents, such as acetone, lacquer thinners and alcohol for furniture finished in shellac. If a spill does occur it is very important to remove immediately in a blotting fashion.  

When possible it is best to use trivets, hot pan pads, table cloths, place mats, and coasters. You should never place a hot pan or dish directly on fine furniture as it can quickly damage the surface. Water condensation that is left on the table can also lead to white marks in the finish where moisture gets trapped creating the white haze.     

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Custom Slip Covers

Did you know Finish Pros can make custom slip covers?  What a great way to instantly transform a room in your house.  We can design a slip cover that works with any decor style, whether you prefer a clean modern look, traditional or shabby chic.  And a slip cover can even give a whole new meaning to a room's decor!  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Does refinishing a family heirloom decrease it's value?

A finish on a piece of wooden furniture is intended to protect the wood surface from damage and to enhance the beauty of the piece. If an item is lacking a good finish, the environment can adversely affect the wood.
So, the short answer to this question is NO, refinishing a piece of furniture does NOT decrease the piece’s value… but there are a few circumstances that need to be considered.
1)   Is your furniture item the first of its kind? Is it considered "period furniture"? An example would be a federal secretary cabinet that was made in the late 1700's or a later reproduction made in the 1870's.   Note:  Just because an item is an antique (over 100 years old) doesn't make it a period piece.
Instead of refinishing a period piece, Finish Pros recommends preserving it to prevent further damage.  Another option is to  restore the period piece while carefully documenting the steps taken so that the methods can be reversed if need be.  For example, if a veneer piece is jagged along the edges, we can use a fill that can be removed at a later date therefore not permanently affecting your family heirloom or the historical significance.

2)   Was the piece once owned by a historically significant person or from a historical location?
In this instance, refinishing an item that was once owned by Thomas Jefferson, Amelia Earhart or in a Norman Rockwell painting should be addressed on a case by case basis. Our team would love to know the stories behind you family heirloom and help with the furniture restoration techniques are best suited to retain the historical significance.

3)   Did a notable cabinetmaker, designer or craftsman make the piece?
In cases such as these, we recommend restoring the piece of furniture instead of refinishing it.  That means that the old finish is not removed but can be cleaned, waxed or even top coated. Keeping the original finish is critical to maintaining the value of the piece.  Gustuv Stickley was a noted furniture designer and manufacturer of fine arts and crafts style furniture in the early 20th century. Original Stickley furniture retaining an original finish demands premium prices from collectors. However if a Stickley item must be refinished, then appropriate stain tones, finishing products and techniques should be used.  At Finish Pros, our experts have decades of experience in antique furniture restoration that allow us to identify your piece of furniture’s history.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fabric Friday!

We got the new fabrics in from Greenhouse today…..there are so many pastels and metallics!   I couldn’t believe how durable some of them were, which relates directly to the pet-friendly post from last week.  . The pastels would look awesome in the winter and for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gooseneck Rockers restored

During the 1700s, artisans created the Gooseneck rocking chair as a comfortable but elegant version of the rocking chair. They often have leather upholstery and brass accents.  These chairs became popular in the 19th century. They have become one of our most popular items to refinish at Finish Pros and we thoroughly enjoy the process of bringing them back to life.

Gooseneck rockers BEFORE

Gooseneck rockers AFTER

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are there really "pet-friendly" fabrics?

We often have customers ask us about reupholstering a sofa that will be in a home with several pets. The truth is that you will always have to deal with pet hair and/or scratches if you own a pet, but there are a few fabrics that are more durable than others. We always recommend a high performance fabric to our pet-loving customers to keep pulls or scratches at a minimum. How do you know what to look for?? Check the "double rub" rating. The double–rub rating given to fabric tells its durability. This test simulates a person getting into and out of a chair and how well the fabric wears when another fabric is continuously rubbed against it. For general household use, a rating of 15,000 double rubs is good... but if you have pets you want to consider at least 45,000 double rubs. With so many different upholstry options available today, you are sure to find numerous options of high wearing fabrics with a comfortable feel and great look. Leather can be a good option for people with pets because pet hair doesn't stick to it. The leather can simply be wiped down when it's dirty. Something to consider with leather is that it will scratch though. This isn't always a bad thing because "weathered" furniture is extremely popular right now for that cozy, lived-in look.
Another high durability fabric for pet lovers is micro-fiber. It washes up incredibly easy with a damp cloth and won't rip or scratch easily.
If you want to branch out into other fabrics, remember that the general rule is that tight-weave fabrics with pattern, texture, and darker colors are best for hiding pet hair and dirt. We ALWAYS recommend to scotch-guard your furniture to protect it even further. Please fee free to contact us if you have any other questions about protecting your furniture!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fabric Friday

On Monday this past week I was able to leave the office for a bit and visit our local fabric showrooms to find the perfect fabric for a customer. While I was there I discovered the new Jonathan Adler line for Kravet, while I may be a little late to this game, I am totally smittin’
Check out the whole line here

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What was once a coffee table.......

Is now an ottoman! To transform this coffee table, we had to make sure the Stretchers beneath the table were strong enough since they add more strength to the piece. The table was already at the right height for an ottoman so we didn't need to cut the legs at all. Then we added some padding and upholstered the top! Voila!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Furniture Restoration Is More Than Just a Pretty Finish at Finish Pros

Restoration is an art that requires meticulous attention to detail, an eye for color and patience. Often many restoration pieces require reveneering, addressing deep compressions in the wood surface and regluing joinery. Before any of that can occur, the piece needs to get naked. Hardware is removed, special manufacturing labels are protected, the piece is fully stripped while paying close attention to wood and veneer types, and faux painting or inlays. Stripper can have a devastating impact on delicate pieces, potentially ruining the piece or requiring significant effort to repair. Every piece is fully analyzed for the best treatment before any chemical applications begin. Once the piece is stripped, we then send it to the woodshop to make all the repairs that may include veneer replacement, repair of broken pieces, hand carving to replicate designs and shapes, and in some cases disassembling the entire piece in order to reglue it back to structurally sound. During the entire process careful attention is paid to wood types, grain patterns, the patina of the wood, and how best to disguise repairs. Our skilled craftsmen are experts in disguise. After a quality check to insure everything meets our shop standards, the piece then moves to finishing. Meticulous attention to detail is critical at this stage. We must create the final color through a many step process. Finishing is an art form that requires a excellent eye for color. The patina of the wood can completely change the colors and the steps in order to achieve the desired color. We typically apply several base colors of stain and slowly work our way to the final color using toning before we begin the multi step process of topcoating a durable clear finish. After each step, the piece is carefully sanded so we can achieve a beautiful smooth finish. At the very end, we do a detailed 20 point quality check to insure everything looks it's best to re-enter your home!

Friday, October 18, 2013

CONTEST! Win a $300 Finish Pros credit!

Hey everyone! Finish Pros is very excited to hold our first blog contest! All you have to do to enter is "like" or "follow" us on our social media pages... and leave us a comment here on our blog with your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly at midnight on halloween! Please share this contest with your friends! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to remove a heat ring from furniture

Ever place a casserole dish on a dining room table and then realize it was too hot to set down?  The consequence to this is probably familiar to all of us- a white heat ring that you can't wipe off.  Most of us would think this piece of furniture is ruined for life, but Finish Pros is here to help!  Watch this short video clip (that can also be found on our You Tube Channel here ) to see how YOU can get rid of the heat mark at home!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fabric Friday! Picking the RIGHT fabric for your chair...

Some of our customers come to us with fabric already selected for their project but a good number still need some guidance when it comes to selecting the right material for their furniture. There is a lot of different things to consider when selecting the right fabric for your chair, where in the home will it be, how often will it be used, and how much you are wanting to spend on the fabric.

For a typical club chair I usually suggest a smaller scale pattern which works well with a solid sofa  My standard rule of thumb is the bigger the piece of furniture, the smaller the pattern. I love a huge pattern on a dining room chair that takes up the whole seat, yet the same pattern on a large club chair would be overwhelming.


This is a great scale for an oversized On such a small simple chair this
wingback chair since you are still able to large pattern works great and
see the lines of the chair without becomes the focal point of the chair
being too distracted

However we all know that sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

The Iconic Schumacher Chiag Mai Dragon in Aquamarine will turn even the smallest piece into a work of art to use as the center piece in your home.

Whatever fabric you do decide to use, all that is important is that you love it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Some of the furniture you might have unwittingly discarded to the curbside a few years ago is now in extremely high demand. Those funky looking walnut chairs that once adorned the shag-carpeted living room of your grandparent’s split-level home? If you put them up for sale online, you will now have plenty of eager offers within thirty minutes. That other odd-looking chair you picked up at a Goodwill years ago, only because it reminded you of Robin Williams in Mork and Mindy? That’s called an Egg Chair, originally designed by Arne Jaccobson, and today an authentic one can fetch you thousands of dollars. Believe it or not, there was once a time when you couldn’t sell the average person a great piece of mid-century modern furniture in your front yard for twenty dollars. Only the design-buffs among us have consistently understood the greatness of these forgotten treasures, and they were sure to hoard plenty of them away before the crowd caught on.

From a furniture restoration standpoint, this new appreciation for mid-century modern furniture is a Godsend. Any time a person turns his or her back to buying inexpensive imported furniture from a big-box store, and elects to have a piece of well-made, solid wood-framed furniture restored, a very wise market decision is being made. In addition, I believe the person is also allowing for something very important to occur: through the near-lost art of furniture restoration and upholstery, the legacy of great artists and their life’s work is being carried on into the future for all of us to enjoy.

 When you think “cool”, the first thing that pops into your mind might not be a guy who designs furniture, but take a quick glance at the artist above and allow it to at least superficially change your mind. In the photo, Hans Wegner is contemplating a model prototype of the Poppa Bear Chair, just one of the 500-plus chairs that this Danish master designed in his lifetime, dozens of which have become absolute icons in popular culture. Like Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobson, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, and many others, the man lived and breathed his design ideas right into our collective consciousness. We may not know these artists by name, but we recognize their work because it has permeated the world around us.

Last year, we at Finish Pros were honored to work on one of the early Poppa Bear chairs, and it was given new life through an upholstery transformation that I think would have made Hans Wegner proud. It’s more than gratifying to know that through the art of furniture restoration and upholstery, our craftsman are able to carry on the legacy of great artists and their life’s work, all while making our customers exceedingly happy. Here’s to you Hans...