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Finding qualified finish employees

Colby Olhausen Member


Are there any recruiting resources in the finishing industry for employers? Our company is having a difficult time finding experienced finish sprayers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

9/27/17       #2: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Bob Niemeyer  Member


Colby, Nice to see the Olhausen name.
Many years ago I worked with Donny and finished a couple of very hi end custom tables for you when you were located in San Diego.
Since then I have moved to Wisconsin and operate a finishing business and am a Tech Rep for ICA wood Coatings.
When looking for good finishers one way is to put the "word out" with the coating Reps you do business with. We know who is looking to move up or change location.
Another place to look is the local Technical Colleges that offer woodworking programs that include finishing as a subject. Yes you would have to do some training but hopefully no bad habits that some finishers can have.

Woodweb does have a classifieds area you can post in.

I have been in some facilities that hired finishers that have come from the automotive finishing field, good sprayers but need to learn the coloring of wood.

Those are the areas I like to start the hunt and putting the word out on Woodweb will really help.
If I know any finishers looking I will send them your way... Good Luck

10/1/17       #3: Finding qualified finish employees ...

like bob said, who ask a finish rep who is a good finishner that they have seen and you do what what every other industry does you lure them away by offering them a better deal

10/2/17       #4: Finding qualified finish employees ...

In all candid honesty, we've been on the bad end of the deal any time we've hired an experienced finisher. Inevitably we hit a brick wall where they either aren't accustomed to spraying to our level of detail.....or they want to change the workfow......or whatever it takes to conform the rest of the place to whatever they think it's supposed to be, and they get butthurt if we don't conform to it.

We've found it most profitable to learn how to look for teachable new recruits and teach them from the ground up.

10/4/17       #5: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Michael Foscone  Member

The problem is also in your question. You ask for qualified finish sprayers.
If a guy can only spray, he is not a finisher.
A true finisher is very hard to find. There are just not many places where someone can learn.
Some of the finest finishes in the world are hand applied. Check out Smallbone, their kitchen start at 200,K. And all done on site, by a finisher.
Bottom line is there just aren't many left. Those of us out there usually work for ourself.
Even if available the finisher should be paid the highest wages in the shop. After all a finisher can take mismatched wood and make it work.
But I'm not a finish sprayer, I'm a finisher

10/4/17       #6: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Colby Olhausen Member

Thank you all for your replies. Thank you Bob for your help with projects past. We have been reaching out to our reps to locate finishers. I have also reached out to a frien of mine who paints million dollar motorcoaches here in Nashville. Apparently you all are a dying breed. Matt, we have also been on the bad end of hiring "experience", they tend to be close minded and unwilling to adapt to a different environment. Michael, I totally agree with what you are saying. I wish we had a true finisher here and we would certainly pay out the wazoo to have that type of knowledge. At this point I'm just looking for someone to lay down a good topcoat. My top guy here is using his abilities to his advantage. I need a little workplace competition to bring his ego back you our stratosphere.

10/5/17       #7: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Michael Foscone  Member

Where are you located? In 40 yrs of finishing I've trained quite a few people, that are scattered all over the place. Plus I know many tech and sales reps in the coating industry.
I'd be glad to send someone to chat with you if I know someone in your area.
Either way, good luck

10/16/17       #8: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Matthew Member

Where can I apply?

10/18/17       #9: Finding qualified finish employees ...
Colby Olhausen Member

We are located in Portland TN about 30 miles north of Nashville. Any interested persons can email me directly at

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