About Furniture Finishes

The color of the finish shown in the picture may or may not be an accurate depiction of the actual finish of this piece of furniture. There are a number of factors that cause this issue.

First, this is the photo that the manufacturer has provided us.

The lighting in the picture itself can cause the finish to look brighter or darker than it actually is. In the example below, this is the same item. The image on the left was provided to us by the manufacturer. The image on the right we took ourselves. The lighting in the room in the manufacturer’s photo makes the finish look much darker than the lighting in the photo on the right, where the finish looks lighter.


Here is another example. The photo on the left was provided by the manufacturer. On the right, we have scanned in the actual wood finish sample. Note that the manufacturer’s photo appears to be very white, but the actual finish is more of an off-white, cream color. This is due to the lighting that was used in the manufacturer’s photo.


Second, the settings on computer monitors vary from one computer to the next.

There is no way for us to know if the color you are seeing from your computer is the same color we are seeing from our offices at Home Gallery Stores. In the example below, this is the same exact image split between 2 computer monitors. As you can see, the image on the left appears more “white” and the image on the right has more of a cream/yellow tone. 


Additionally, there will always be a slight variance in finish from one production batch to the next.

Usually this part is undetectable, but occasionally not. Once you receive the furniture in your home, the finish will also look different depending on the lighting of the room it’s going in. Even the angle that a light is pointed at a piece of furniture can cause a color appearance variation. All of these finish issues are inherent in the furniture industry as a whole. You must consider this when ordering furniture from the internet, as well as when ordering furniture from a store. Almost all store floor samples are faded from the original finish. Even when the store has a piece of furniture in stock, the one from their warehouse is unlikely to be an exact match. Also, the furniture in your house has faded some too. So even if you are trying to add pieces to your existing furniture collection, the finish may differ a bit due to the fading. All stained finishes fade over time. Some natural finishes, such as natural cherry, may even get darker over time. In other words, it is very difficult to identify an exact color match when buying furniture.

This happens no matter what the color of the finish is. Do not let the name of the finish fool you. Everyone interprets finishes in different ways. There are thousands of variations of a “white” finish, and 99% of the time, the white finish you are looking at will not be a “true white.” Look at a piece of white computer printer paper. In most cases, this is not what you are getting.  Just like at your local hardware store you have to look through countless paint samples to find the “white” paint color that you want, furniture finishes vary and are very unlikely to be an exact match for something you already have in your home. The same rules go for wood finishes. Different brands call different finishes “Cherry” or “Oak” or “Mahogany” or “Espresso”.

Here are a few finishes that are all called “cherry” finishes:


Here are a few finishes that are all called “white” finishes:


Here is a paint sample wall. Each square is a completely different color of yellow. Furniture colors are not standard. They will vary and you should not expect the finish you see to be an exact match for anything you currently own.


*The finishes, distressing, and furniture shown may or may not represent the specific finish of your selected product.


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Editorial Assistance by Home Gallery Stores Staff