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Step panel for furniture finishing

Color panel
 antique oak color panel

Color panel or swatch panel or standard panel is a finished panel that figure the color, appearance and quality of furniture finished for furniture product. In the furniture business, color panel is a very important, especially when dealing with the production of furniture in large quantities. Furniture product that is sold for furniture market requires a quality standard that must be maintained when the market still accept that product collection. When the market is still want the product, it means that the furniture factory has to make the same product, the same size, same looked and same quality. If the standard of size, model, shape, construction of furniture is shown in the technical drawing or photograph, then the finishing standard is figured out with a color panel. A color panel is the tool to represent the finishing colors and appearance of the product.

There are several types of color panels that are used in the furniture industry: master panel, working panel, salesman panel and step panel. Master panel or main panel is a panel which shows the finishing color and looked for the product. Master panel is an example of the appearance (looked) and quality finishing neede by the furniture buyer. Legally it requires approval from both the buyer and the manufacturer. Master panel is usually made by a furniture factory to get approval from the buyer. Usually the master panel is made from a large panel then cut into 2 parts, 1 part is retained by the buyer and the other part is stored by the furniture factory. Master color panel is considered as document that shows an agreement between the buyer and the manufacturer about the color and looked for the finishing. Master panel can be viewed any time if necessary. The color panel can be use to anticipate the finishing problem if there is any dispute between the buyer and the furniture factory.

From the master panel. then the other panel are developed that are the salesman panel and working panel. The salesman panel is the color panel that is used to help the salesmen in selling products to the users. Usually salesman panel is a small size panel, so it easy to be carried, but with the color and appearance of the finishing describe the appearance of the finishing of the furniture products offered. Working panel is color panel that is used as standard panel for the factory to do the production. Working panel usually is a step panel, a panel that is completed with the finishing step to get the final color and looked. 

Step Panel 
 Step panel
Step panel is a color panel that shows all the necessary finishing processes to achieve a certain desired finishing looked and color. Color panel is a model finishing  that shows the color and looked that has to be followed by the furniture product. How to get the color is shown and explained by the steps in step panel. Step panel is a kind of pilot run for the finishing process to obtain a certain finish with a certain wood. The step panel must clearly show the color and appearance of the desired finishing and how is the finishing steps to get the finishing appearance and color. Before the finishing process on furniture product is started, the step panel should be made first. Although it seems it is an extra job to make step panel, but actually it will make finishing job easier. After the step panel is made, then the finishing process for the product just needs to follow the step finishing that shown in the step panel.
In the furniture factories which are produce furniture in big quantities (mass production) the step panel is very important. There will no finishing process start before the step panel has been approved. For small-scale production step panel is still necessary because this panel is a guide on how to do a finishing process to produce the color and appearance of the desired finish. Step panel is a document that can be seen and review if necessary when there is a finishing problems. Step panel can also be stored as a document of a finish when later we need to make finishing with the same color and appearance.
When we make step panel we need to consider to the condition and facilities that is available in the finishing room. We need to ensure that the finishing step in the step panel is really applicable in the production. The substrate for the panel should be the same with the substrate that will use for the furniture product. How to prepare the step panel such as the sanding, the distress, is also need to follow the production. For furniture product with certain forms such as carvings, arches, profiles or veneer with a special arrangement, the step panel needs to represent the forms of furniture product. The step panel also should be completed with the explanation of the material used, how the application techniques and other technical data such as the viscosity of the finishing materials, the drying time of each process, and other necessary information to do the process.

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