The difficulties of the furniture design industry have even affected the finishes available on furniture lines. Mirror gloss finishes are high labor, high cost, and easily damaged, and so for reasons of international shipment and floor sample expenses, anything high gloss is no longer an available option except at additional custom pricing.
Since the Chinese have leveled the rainforests of Burma illegally in order to provide enough wood for their furniture manufacturers, their insistence on lowering other costs has made imported furniture cheap but of extremely poor quality. On such wood, the higher gloss finishes crack, mist, haze, chip and peel, and so most manufacturers have elected to stop offering gloss finish on their wood.
Moving to a lower gloss finish doesn’t change the poor quality of the wood underneath it, and it is time for people to quit being fooled by ‘good looks.’ Chintzy sprayed on finish in a low gloss compound may look better in the short term, but it is badly affected by sunlight, use, water and humidity, and without much friction will rub off in ugly ways.
Heavily manufactured items from overseas have no regard for the quality of properly processed, hand sanded, hand rubbed gloss finishes. The fact that most Americans have these better pieces in their homes from earlier years, means that the industry can force a country wide change in furniture because pieces no longer work together. Families are now buying ‘piece meal’ instead of in sets, because the industry has made furniture in such poor quality.
Unhappy customers? You bet!!! While they make pieces that put on a pretty face, even interest free loans for this crummy furniture means that you’ll still be paying long after the furniture is junk, even when it is ‘on sale!’ When you are looking at pieces of furniture, be sure you look underneath. Glues, machining marks, finish drips and chintzy staples are some of the signs that this furniture is very poorly made. You might discover that parts that should be hardwood, dovetailed and nailed are particle board, stub joined and glued.
Bring a small piece of your current furniture with you when you purchase. A knob, drawer or trim piece will help you decide if these new cheap finishes will even work with your current collection. Look for crazing, uneven finish, drips or scratches.
Everyone is better off in the long run by taking a look at hand crafted American made furniture, even if you buy only one piece at a time. How much of your money are you willing to invest in furniture every two years? Get quality right off the bat, and you will save money over the long term!