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Appearance Wood Products

Reducing colour variation in stained veneer panels used by furniture and cabinet industriesCompleted

Project leaders: Avramidis, Stavros, Evans, Phil


The wood furniture industry in Canada employs 60,016 people and produces kitchen cabinets, household, office and institutional furniture and partitions. Most of these products are finished in a multi-step process involving: staining, sealing, and application of top coats. Because of its complexity, finishing can represent up to 30% of the cost of manufacturing furniture, and it is regarded as the critical step in adding value to such products. Currently in Canada, most furniture is finished with solvent-based coatings, however, environmental legislation has been foreshadowed that will make it costly to finish wooden furniture with such finishes. Hence, many furniture and cabinet companies in Canada are switching to water-based finishes. The companies that have done this are experiencing great difficulty in staining veneer-faced panels the same colour with water-based stains. This problem is creating unacceptable variation in the products they produce. This in turn is leading to a lot of costly rework and call-backs. Industry has noticed that there are marked differences in the colour of panels that are made in summer and winter or in locations with different climates. This has led them to think that the moisture content of the veneer panels or the rate at which the stain evaporates from the wood may be playing key roles in this problem. Research needs to be done to test these ideas so that industry can better understand the causes of variation in colour of veneer following staining and develop solutions to the problem.

Start date: 2008-04-01 End date: 2009-03-31



For more information on this project, please contact:

Avramidis, Stavros
University of British Columbia
Email: stavros.avramidis@ubc.ca
Telephone: (604) 822-6153
Fax: (604) 822-9159
Evans, Phil
University of British Columbia
Email: phil.evans@ubc.ca
Telephone: (604) 822-0517
Fax: (604) 822-9159
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