WOOD finishing today is a commercial art. The tendency to consider the wood finishing in homes and public buildings simply as one element of a decorative scheme, along with the several others, such as walls, floor, furniture, drapes, rugs, and accessories, is a wholesome development which is making interiors truly beautiful.
The wood finisher, whether he be house painter and decorator, furniture worker or arts and crafts artisan, is confronted with an array of finishes calculated to confuse even the most experienced unless his working methods are based on a sound knowledge of the most modern stains, fillers, varnishes and other materials. Then there has been a steady change in the kinds and grades of woods used for buildings, cabinets, and furniture, calling for complete knowledge of the characteristics of present-day woods.
And to make the wood finisher's task even more difficult the specifications by architects and customers change constantly to keep pace with styles in furniture and decorations of standard, period and novel designs. The wish is always for something new and different.
So the wood finisher must keep up with the procession in pursuit of style and vogue.
The matter of cost of producing finishes is usually the controlling factor, especially when surfaces to be finished are very large or are many times repeated, as when made up of hundreds of rooms in the large office, hotel or similar structures. Then the cost of an extra coat or an extra sanding of the surface, for instance, may mean the difference between profit or loss on the job.
In this course, the author has aimed to discard the old and obsolete materials and methods which are too costly in labor to be practical in this day of high wage scales. Only such materials and methods have been cited as are equal to present day demands for both practical and artistic finishes.