Is this a finish defect?


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Hi, folks, I bought this dining table last week and found that the finish doesn’t adhere to the part shown in the pictures. I wonder is it a finish or sanding problem?

The seller told me it’s acceptable imperfections with natural wood, and one of their support guys told me it’s called “tiger stripe” on natural oak which is normal on quarter saw wood, but it doesn’t look like quarter saw to me. They’ve agreed to give me 10% discount on this one, but I don’t know if I should accept that.

If I want to argue with them, could someone tell me what kind of defect it is? Or if it’s normal imperfections, is there anyway I can fix it?

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Can you describe what you experienced for us? The first pic looks concerning, the third does not. What is making that spot look wet in the first pic? Oak has open grain in those dark areas and a big spot like that dark area will drink a ton in and potentially got sanded low. The third pic does look like grain variation. 

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The first picture is interesting.  It appears to be the same area as the third pic but it is difficult to be 100% sure; is it?  If so it looks like the angle of the light may be contributing to the obviousness of the area.  What it boils down to is are you satisfied with the product as a customer.  It sounds like you are not so I would exchange it. 

The idea of a seller telling a buyer what is an "acceptable imperfection" is ludicrous.  It is our duty as consumers to speak with our wallets.  In any retail business model, we are "profit".  If they don't want our business, failing to meet our expectations is a good way to avoid our pesky purchases. 

If they cannot make you happy I would return the item.  If their return policy is poor (BS restocking fees or whatever) I would return it anyway and learn from the experience.  If you accept something that you feel is wrong it will haunt you every time you look at it.

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2 hours ago, Tpt life said:

Can you describe what you experienced for us? The first pic looks concerning, the third does not. What is making that spot look wet in the first pic? Oak has open grain in those dark areas and a big spot like that dark area will drink a ton in and potentially got sanded low. The third pic does look like grain variation. 

Hi, thanks for the answer. The first picture and the third are the same area. It is a large area of dark grain which seems to absorb the finish, or the finish is not sticking to it. It can only be seen under some angle of the light, and it feels rough.

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1 hour ago, gee-dub said:

The first picture is interesting.  It appears to be the same area as the third pic but it is difficult to be 100% sure; is it?  If so it looks like the angle of the light may be contributing to the obviousness of the area.  What it boils down to is are you satisfied with the product as a customer.  It sounds like you are not so I would exchange it. 

The idea of a seller telling a buyer what is an "acceptable imperfection" is ludicrous.  It is our duty as consumers to speak with our wallets.  In any retail business model, we are "profit".  If they don't want our business, failing to meet our expectations is a good way to avoid our pesky purchases. 

If they cannot make you happy I would return the item.  If their return policy is poor (BS restocking fees or whatever) I would return it anyway and learn from the experience.  If you accept something that you feel is wrong it will haunt you every time you look at it.

That’s so true. I’m not satisfied as it’s their flagship dining table which is supposed to have better quality. I was actually telling my wife that they might use “natural wood’s imperfections” as an excuse, and they just did the same. They gave us some discount and said they don’t accept exchange as it’s not a defect. That’s why I want to find some evidence to approve that it is their fault.

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2 hours ago, YYF said:

That’s so true. I’m not satisfied as it’s their flagship dining table which is supposed to have better quality. I was actually telling my wife that they might use “natural wood’s imperfections” as an excuse, and they just did the same. They gave us some discount and said they don’t accept exchange as it’s not a defect. That’s why I want to find some evidence to approve that it is their fault.

So, they gave you a discount because something was wrong yet deny something is wrong if you want an exchange?  I call poppycock!  Welcome to doing business in the grown up world kids.  The customer doesn't eat the mistakes, you do.

Fact: If you can feel a surface that is reminiscent of having a comb drawn across it, or a set of cascading waves / ripples, those are indeed white oak figure characteristics.  Lots of materials have characteristics when they are in the rough.  These are the things that any decent woodworker / finisher would overcome by surface preparation at best and building (burying it in) the film if they're that sort.

Was this a special order or something like that where satisfaction / returns were formally limited in writing?  Did you use a form of payment that will allow you to contest the transaction?  Let's go this way . . . what is the name of the company? I want to be sure our paths do not cross ;-)

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The table looks pore filled with some finish applied over top. The area in question just looks like the application of pore filling they did wasn't enough to completely fill the grain in that location. It should be an easy fix for any shop that is doing finish at that level.

Looks like red oak and red oak can be very porous and soak up a lot of finish.

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5 hours ago, Chestnut said:

The table looks pore filled with some finish applied over top. The area in question just looks like the application of pore filling they did wasn't enough to completely fill the grain in that location. It should be an easy fix for any shop that is doing finish at that level.

Looks like red oak and red oak can be very porous and soak up a lot of finish.

I’m not so sure whether they used grain filler or not. I can see the surface is also rough on the other parts of the grain, but when I see from distance, only that part is obvious.

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Your first pic is all they should need to see to realize it’s an issue with their finish or finish prep. The area in question spans two separate boards in the lamination, so it is clearly not inherent in the wood grain itself. The grain on the two boards within the affected area is different enough that it wouldn’t be such a ‘regular’ shape. 
 

As has been mentioned above, it really looks like they missed a spot when they were pore filling. Your last pic appears to show that section looking much more open and rough in the grain.

Have they seen the pictures or have you only described it to them on the phone? 

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1 hour ago, JohnG said:

Your first pic is all they should need to see to realize it’s an issue with their finish or finish prep. The area in question spans two separate boards in the lamination, so it is clearly not inherent in the wood grain itself. The grain on the two boards within the affected area is different enough that it wouldn’t be such a ‘regular’ shape. 
 

As has been mentioned above, it really looks like they missed a spot when they were pore filling. Your last pic appears to show that section looking much more open and rough in the grain.

Have they seen the pictures or have you only described it to them on the phone? 

Thanks, John, I just went to their showroom and showed the pictures to their manager. The guy still didn’t want to admit it’s a defect, but he promised to try fixing it first, and if it doesn’t go well, they’ll exchange it.

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