Qualifications for finishers

Make sure the finisher you are hiring is capable of doing quality work. March 20, 2001

What is a good finisher capable of? We are about to hire and need to know what to look for.

Forum Responses
A good finisher should be able to make repairs (touch-ups to damaged finishes). He or she should be able to color match. If a stain, glaze and clear coat finish is being used instead of pigmented color (paint), a painter is probably not qualified for the job.

I head up a finishing department and have several assistants. One is a good sprayer, but lacks color-matching ability. The other is entry level, still learning. A good finisher should be able to spray and should know the proper equipment and materials to use.

When looking for a finisher, make sure you see a picture of their work. I like to know they've spent at least three years at their last job. Have them explain what equipment they have used and what they like best. Take a look, in person, at a job they have done. Make a few phone calls to their last job and references to find out how well they work with clients.

A good finish person will have a solid knowledge of the trade, from sanding to topcoat, and, importantly, all the materials on the market today. When you find the person for the job, the two of you can negotiate on a wage and benefits. Agree on a three month trial period.

When someone comes to work for me, I have them spray something and usually I can tell how good they are by the way they adjust the equipment and the questions they ask.