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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Standard Furniture Finish Established

In response to many requests from dealers and manufacturers the Grand Rapids Furniture Association has discussed the subject of standard finishes for furniture and cabinet woods. A special committee has given much thought to the matter, has made its report to the association and through this body will shortly make known the colors selected.

The finishes will be known as the “G.R.M. standard colors” and for the present only the popular finishes have been determined upon. These are Oak, golden, weathered, early English and fumed; mahogany, dark and natural or Toona. It is not the intention of the association to force any manufacturer to change his finish nor even to suggest that the Grand Rapids standard be used, but the decision is considered a movement in the right direction and for the betterment of the trade in a general way.

In the statement which has been prepared it is declared that only a furniture dealer can appreciate the benefit of having one standard, for the lack of this in the past has been a source of great expense to all concerned and an obstacle to the proper development of the business. Instead of manufacturers being able to specialize on certain lines they have discovered it was necessary to complete an entire suite in order to satisfy the trade. In every other product of general use, practically, there is a standard that is universally accepted, and there should be such a standard with furniture finishes.

So many requests have been made for samples that the association has decided to put out complete sets of good size. These will be sent upon request either by mail or express, a nominal charge being made to cover the expense. The requests may be forwarded to F. Stuart Foote, secretary of the association. In this manner buyers as well as manufacturers may guard against uncertainty when the G. R. M. standard color is inquired for.

Excerpted from, Evening Press, June 25,1908, page 2

The Grand Rapids Shades

Since the adoption by the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers’ Association of certain fixed standards of shades, it has developed that this action did not bring out any new shade. It simply fixed upon one shade in each of the various finishes, which are in popular use and demand today. When the adopted shades had been give out, the Marietta Paint & Color Co., of Marietta, Ohio, who claim supremacy in the making of wood stains, found that it was not necessary to change its shades to meet the new order.

Two of the most popular of the Marietta stains are the fumed oak and early English. The fumed oak is an acid stain, and contrary to all other stains of this character, it will stain red oak as well as white oak, making it possible for the manufacturer to produce a finish on a piece of furniture, such as a chair, where sometimes both red and white oak are used in the same piece, and still get a perfectly uniform color. This stain raises the grain so little, and penetrates so deeply, that the work can be sanded perfectly smooth without cutting through the stain. It is made to produce the greenish brown tint adopted at Grand Rapids, while it is also made to match any special shade desired. To the manufacturers using a fuming chamber, this stain will be a revelation.

Another stain made by the Marietta Paint & Color Co. that meets the requirements of the discriminating manufacturer, is its early English, and those who have not yet been in touch with the adopted shade can secure a small sample from this house.

Excerpted from, The Grand Rapids Furniture Record, February 1909, page 367.



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