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Welcome to Vintique Finishes 2.0! Lets take a quick tour…

The wait is over! As I have said many times in previous posts and emails, this site has been a labor of love. I began the journey of this new web site way back in November of 2019, researching new platforms and identifying the features that I wanted the new site to have. While our last site was functional and served its purpose, it lacked several functionalities that modern web sites have to make online shopping easier. I think our new site accomplishes that goal, so lets go through a few:

Product Search

Yes, search! As simple as it may sound, it was a difficult feature to implement on our old web site. The new site has a robust search capability that assists you in the process. The search bar is in the top right corner of the site, on every page. You can type something as simple as “blue paint” and it will return every blue paint we offer. If you type “Fusion blue paint” it will return all blue paints under the Fusion brand. I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into getting this search feature (and the next feature we discuss: Filters) to work properly and return accurate results, and it was the bulk of the time spent designing the new site. I hope you find it useful!

Filters

If you are not certain what exactly you are searching for, then Filters will allow you to drill down into the product catalog to find products by attributes like color, size or paint type. They work on the “or” principle, which means you can select more than one attribute to widen your search. For example, if you are not sure if you want a blue or a green paint you can select blue, green and turquoise and see all options at the same time. You can also filter by Brand, size, sheen and paint type.

Wish List

Wish List is a new feature that allows you to keep a list of products that you’d like to order in the future, or just to remind yourself to look at them again. Your wishlist is kept in your “My Account” section and there is a link at the top of the page.

My Account and Wishlist links at the top of the page
You can add products to your Wishlist by clicking the Heart link on any product page.

Waiting List

The single MOST requested feature BY FAR is a waiting list, and I am ECSTATIC to introduce it to you today! Our waiting list will automatically notify you when an item that you would like to purchase is back in stock. You will have to verify your “subscription” by email, but it will only be used to notify you about that particular product. Once you have been notified, the item will be removed from your list so you will only be notified once. You can always add it again if it goes out of stock again.

Note: This should not be confused with the Wish List. The wish list WILL NOT notify you of anything. It is simply a list you keep for your own reference. The waiting list is a notification service, and can be accessed from any product page.

Use the purple button to join the waiting list for a product. Don’t forget to check the box and check your email.
You can view the contents of your Waiting List on your My Account page.

Product Reviews

Also on the product page you will find the Product Reviews tab. There are three tabs below each product’s image on the product page: Description, Additional Information and Reviews. I invite and encourage all customers to review any items in our catalog. I try very hard to make sure that all products on our site meet my own standards of quality as if I was one of our customers, and reviews are valuable in evaluating a product before purchasing it. It can also act to alert us to a product that may need a higher level of scrutiny in terms of quality, or how we represent it in images or text descriptions and filterable attributes.

You can title your review, choose a star rating, write a text review, and even upload images in jpg or png formats!

Shipment ETA’s

One carryover from our previous site will be a more prominent display of our expected shipment ETA’s. While I hope that these will become a thing of the past very soon, as Fusion gets completely caught up on shipping paint in adequate quantities and in a timely manner, I will keep these at the top of our page until that day comes and we no longer need them. The Waiting List feature is also designed to reduce the need for specific shipment notifications and I plan to discontinue our regular shipment email once this feature is put to good use by our customers.

Order History

Another item that turned out to be more complicated than I expected was existing customer Order History. Your order history can be found in your “My Account” page. Our previous web site platform did not have a favorable format for exporting order history data, so I enlisted the help of a company that specializes in exactly this. While the transfer did seem to do what it was supposed to do, there are. a few inconsistencies here and there. Order numbers will not be the same as the old site, and order dates may or may not match. Also, although products are displayed in your history you will not be able to use them as links to re-order them, unfortunately. This was a technical issue between he old site and the new one that I could not get fixed. All orders starting now on the new site will have reorder links in your order history.

Summary

I think that pretty much wraps it up. Again, I hope that everyone finds these improvements helpful and worthy of the wait. The transfer from one server to another was a little more complicated than I had hoped, and took longer than planned, but I am really excited about the results. Also, a big welcome to all of our customers from vintiquefinishes.co where we sold Debi’s DIY Paint exclusively! The main goal when I started this project was to combine the two sites into one. There were reasons that they had to be separated, which I will go into in another post, but I was able get it done on this new platform and still keep all shipping guidelines in tact and not breach any of our retailer agreements.

Enjoy the new site and please don’t hesitate to reach out in any available contact format. We have comments below, email, phone, contact page, reviews, Facebook and soon a couple of new options! A chat feature is something that I was unable to implement in the new site upon its launch, but I am hoping to be able to have a more-or-less instant contact capability in place in the very near future.

Thanks so much for your patronage and your patience while I worked on this mountain of web site work!

-Mike @ Vinique

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New shipping policy, effective 1/27/21

Most orders are shipped out via USPS Priority Mail within 1-2 business days. Average arrival time is 3 business days once shipped. Due to COVID and the 2020 holiday season (as well as other factors), many shipments have been experiencing delays of up to 14 days or more. Please understand that this is beyond our control and be patient. Check your tracking info and if it gets stuck somewhere, let us know and we will submit a missing package inquiry with the Post Office.

With the rising cost of shipping services, especially the USPS, it has come time to increase our minimum order amount for free shipping. Effective immediately, 1/27/21, free shipping is available on all orders $99 and up excluding all Debi’s DIY products. Our retailer agreement does not allow free shipping on the DIY Paint line, so we are not able to offer it. What does that mean, exactly? Let me clarify:

Any order containing a DIY branded product will incur a shipping charge, even if the order contains $99 of eligible products. I have created a shipping table that gives the lowest possible shipping prices that we can allow determined by weight.

But what about your Fusion order? Fusion shipping prices are the absolute lowest we can manage and still offer the level of service that we are accustomed to giving, with 1-2 day turnarounds and 2-3 day Priority Mail shipments for most orders.

Fusion (and most other products) shipping tiers:

$2.99 – Color cards and most brushes under 8oz

$3.99 – Total weight under 16oz

$4.99 – Total weight under 2.5# (one jar of Fusion paint, for example)

$6.99 – Most orders above one jar of paint but under 10#

$9.99 – Orders over 10# (you should almost reach the $99 minimum at this level)

So, if you are used to getting free shipping at the previous $49 minimum order, most orders will pay a low shipping cost of $6.99 for up to 4 jars of paint, or similarly-weighted items.

DIY Paint shipping tiers:

$4.99 – under 16oz (most 8 oz jars fit this category)

$6.99 – under 4# (one quart or two pints of DIY Paint)

$9.99 – under 8# (two quarts)

$14.99 – under 15# (four quarts)

$19.99 – under 30#

$29.99 – under 45# (about 12 quarts)

$39.99 to $59.99 – 45# and up

*Note: This is a complicated calculation, and I am working very hard to make sure that the cart calculates shipping accurately. IF fo any reason you suspect it is not, please let me know.

— Mike @ Vintique

Posted on

Storms may cause delays…

***

Update 8/26/20

Looks like we are out of harm’s way. Our post office closed on Monday so no shipments went out (even though I packed as many as I could) but everything was back on track Tuesday. I don’t foresee them closing again, but we didn’t expect it on Monday either so who knows! Average shipping lead time is still running about 2 days, occasionally three. I hope everyone in western LA and eastern TX finds their way to safety. This storm is a monster!

**

Two tropical storms (possibly hurricanes) are headed our way over the next few days. While I do not know for certain, I would guess that we may see some shipping delays as access to the shop and power outages may become a problem.

Image from weather.com

The first storm (Marco) is scheduled to land Monday morning, which may interrupt Monday’s outgoing shipments. If you have already placed an order but have not yet received a shipment notification you fall into this category.

The second storm (Laura) is larger and stronger and appears to be heading for landfall on Wednesday or so. This storm could have impacts on all orders placed from Sunday through the end of the week and beyond.

We are no strangers to storms and are preparing as best as we can. We will be riding out Marco, but if Laura comes our way we may have to evacuate. The website will remain up and accepting orders, but delays in shipping may occur.

I will keep this post updated as we move forward, as long as I have power and internet services.

Stay safe everyone,

Mike

Posted on

August 2020 inventory update

I hope everyone is safe and healthy in this, what is it, 5th? month of COVID quarantine! A lot has happened since my last update, and a lot has stayed the same. Let’s go through it real quick :

First of all, Fusion has been getting caught up on producing the more popular colors in larger numbers. Some colors are still available in limited numbers and some are shipping regularly. Some colors are out-of-stock and will continue to be out intermittently for a little while longer, but we are getting much closer to “normal”.

Second, our shipment arrived today (8/11/20) and will be available online at 6pm, or shortly after this post goes live. Raw Silk is in good numbers this time!

Third, testers will continue to be in short supply for the next few weeks. Fusion has been focusing on making the pints, so testers have taken a back seat for now.

Fourth, Stain & Finishing Oil should be back in stock towards the end of the month, as well as the Staalmeester brushes that we have been sold out of.

Fifth, Milk Paint by Fusion will be here in October! Be on the lookout for info on the site about that product launch. I absolutely love milk paint, and while it doesn’t act quite like Mineral Paint once you use it and understand how it works I think most people will love it too.

Lastly, I have some personal news. Two weeks ago I had an accident at the shop and broke my left wrist.  It required surgery, which I had last Friday, and I am now recovering in a cast and sling.  Doing this kind of work one-handed is no easy feat, but I was lucky to have my son with me to help these last two weeks.  But, unfortunately, he goes back to LSU on Friday and I will be on my own again until I can find some new help.  My original helper, Frankie, has been home with her children since the lockdown started so I’m not sure when I will get her back.  I am telling you this simply to ask for your patience in fulfilling orders.  I will be working slowly for a couple of weeks (at least) and orders tend to be heaviest when a shipment arrives, so the timing on this one is pretty bad. I will only have him for one day and, because I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, shipping will not begin until Thursday.

We have been asking for your patience a lot over the last few months, and this little incident makes it worse, I know, but I hope that you can understand the situation that we are in. Trust me, the last thing you want to do in a pandemic is go to the emergency room and/or have surgery, but here we are.

Thank you for your support and understanding during these trying times. We will get through it!

Mike @ Vintique

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COVID-19 & an update on sold-out paint

**Update 6/9/20** – Paint is starting to flow again, slowly. Many colors arrived and were made available today, and another shipment will be here in early July with MUCH larger numbers of the constrained colors. Some colors still remain unavailable, but we will be ordering as often as they let us and as many as they let us. Stay tuned!


The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected each and every one of us in one way or another. Fortunately, my family and I have stayed healthy I have been able to continue working and shipping daily. I isolate both at home and at the shop, and my only contact is with the Postal, UPS and FedEx drivers. And I am tired of washing my hands!

Quarantine, isolation, and social distancing has been a good reason for many people to get projects done around the house, many of which include painting furniture. We have seen a sharp increase in orders because of this trend, and it has affected our shipping times and our inventory. Our processing times have slowed from our normal 1 business day to 2 or even 3 business days in some cases. While this is the norm for many businesses it is slow for us. I do my very best to get your paint to you as quickly as possible, sometimes as soon as 2-3 days from the moment you order it. Quicker turnaround times will return, once things get somewhat back to normal.

Our inventory, on the other hand, has been hit very hard. About a month ago, Fusion stopped producing paint. They even stopped shipping for a short time, until they decided to re-open their warehouse with a skeleton crew to keep paint moving. But they are only able to ship the paint that was already produced, and once they sold out there would be no more until production started again. That is where we stand now. Many of our most popular colors are already, or will be very soon, sold out. Those same colors will be in very short supply when production starts again, as Fusion will be limiting the number of jars that each retailer can order per week until they can ramp production back up to full capacity. This is expected to last for 4-6 weeks, but we do not really know. For now, the affected colors are:

Algonquin

Ash

Casement

Coal Black

French Eggshell

Limestone

Midnight Blue

Raw Silk

Picket Fence

Pebble

Little Lamb

As of this post we still have stock in some of these colors. As they begin to sell out their quantities will be restrained by whatever number we are able to get in our future shipments. As you probably know, we do our best to estimate when a shipment will arrive and post that date near the top of our site to make it easy for customers to keep track. This is the best we can do with the resources that we currently have.

Unfortunately, our current website does not have the capability to notify users of items that are back in stock, nor can we hold or “pre-order” out-of-stock items. We have tried this in the past with mixed results, so for now it will stay that way. I am hard at work on a new, more capable and user-friendly web site that will help with some of these problems, including a favorites or wish list, stock notifications, and product reviews. I plan to launch the new site by the end of the summer.

To summarize, product will be tight for the next couple of months. Many items will show up on our site as “sold out”, even though our shipment may have come in the same day. It will be frustrating for all of us, and I appreciate your patience while we work through this pandemic aftermath.

We have a small shipment due in around the 22nd of April, but none of the above-mentioned colors will be in it. The earliest ETA I can give on any of those colors is the middle of May, and quantities will be extremely limited. We are planning to place an order once a week to get our allotment, and orders take about 3 weeks to arrive. So assuming I can order any of these colors as early as the last week of April, their ETA will be the middle of May and then again weekly after that, pending availability.

I will do my best to keep my arrival estimates accurate, and we will post a specific time when the site’s inventory will be updated to make it as fair as possible for our customers to place their orders.

I apologize for the long, wordy rant, but I had a lot of information to share, and I invite any questions via our contact form, email address, phone, or comments below.

Stay safe everyone,

Mike

Posted on

New colors for 2020… and more!

I have to admit, this was a little unexpected! Fusion released two new colors and we have them in stock and ready to ship today!

The first color is Fusion’s take on a color that most of us are familiar with… it is a color that is often associated with a duck egg. French Eggshell is a medium blue-green with a muted tone. A good way to describe it might be a dark Inglenook.

The second color fills a rather obvious blank on the Fusion color chart. Down here in New Orleans, there is a color that is often seen on the shutters of old houses that is a deep, dark green. Some call it New Orleans Green, and Homestead House calls theirs Windsor Green. Pressed Fern isn’t quite that dark, but it reminds me of an evergreen tree’s needles. It has just the slightest hint of blue to keep it from being TOO green, but its far from a teal or a turquoise. It’s definitely a gorgeous dark green.

Lastly, we have some exciting news to share about another new product! This has been kept a secret for quite some time while they worked out the details, but we now have a GLOSS TOUGH COAT! The original Tough Coat is considered a matte, but I consider it more of a satin. The new Gloss appears to be closer to a traditional semi-gloss, but I haven’t layered it quite enough to see what its potential is. I’ve got three coats on a sample board as of now and its definitely showing as a semi.

As soon as I get some good pics of the new colors and the Gloss Tough Coat Ill post them here and on our Facebook and Instagram. Yes, I know I’m not very good with those two (or here for that matter), but it is my New Year’s resolution to get better and be more consistent at posting. We’ll see 😉

That’s all for now…

Mike @ Vintique

Posted on

Our shipment finally arrived today!

Its been a long road, but we are finally back up to speed! Our shipment finally arrived after a bit of drama in customs, and our shelves are stocked!

I am still in the process of balancing our inventory between the retail location and the warehouse, so a few items that are not in stock here today may show up over the weekend as we balance and bring a few things back to the warehouse that we need here. Our stock levels for some products are not quite where I want them (Coal Black, Limestone, Little Lamb, Soapstone and a few others are all a little light), but that was expected since we order on a 2 week projection and this shipment took almost 4 weeks to come in.

That will be remedied on our next order which will bring us up to near-full availability. We will be back to our normal shipping schedule as of Monday 10/28, with most orders shipping out the next business day.

A few inventory notes:

Extender is back in stock!

Staalmeester #14 Sash will be in our next shipment mid-November.

Staalmeester #20 Round Wax Brush is discontinued and we are selling them out at 40%off!

The new Gel Stains will be on our next shipment!

We ran short on the Lisa Marie Holmes Collection samples, so those will be restocked mid-November.

I think that covers everything. Thanks again for your patience everyone!
Mike @ Vintique

Posted on

Murphy’s Law is in full effect

Our move is complete and we are finally back to somewhat of a normal shipping schedule. However, our shipment from Fusion that was due in the second week of October has been delayed at the border for nearly two weeks.

It is amazing that no matter how carefully you plan, something so simple can set you so far off course. A simple paperwork mixup between our customs broker and the trucking company has led to our paint sitting on the Canada side of the border waiting to be cleared by customs. Countless emails have flown back and forth, many phone calls have been made, and finally, as of 4:30 pm today, October 21 2019, the shipment is moving again.

I have my fingers crossed that it can get here by Friday 10/25/19, in time for all shipments that are backordered to go out this weekend, and for our shelves to be stocked again so that our website has product that can be ordered.

For those of you that have been waiting, my sincerest apologies. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, or email us at vintiquefinishes@gmail.com. Ill be happy to give out any info that I have on the situation.

Oh, and a side note… Due to the confusion of this shipment I have been hesitant to place my order for the new gel stains. They were announced after this order was placed, so they had to go on their own shipment and I was worried that we would end up with two border issues instead of one. They will be an another order as soon as I get confirmation that the current shipment has officially made it across the border.

I think it is safe to say that we all expect some road bumps when this type of transition is made, but I had no idea it would be quite to the level of this mess! But I can finally see the light at the end of this 2 month-long tunnel and and I’m pretty sure its not a train!

Thanks again to all,

Mike @ Vintique

Posted on

We are moving!

I know that I am a little behind in this announcement, but the last few weeks have been a bit chaotic.

On August 30, 2019 my wife, Kristen, and I sold our retail store. It was a bittersweet day, as we have spent the past 6 1/2 years getting to know our customers and building a community within our store. Furniture paint has always been a top priority for us and we built our store around those product lines. We have carried several lines over the years, many of which we still have and will continue to have as we move to an online-only business.

The online portion of our business was run from the warehouse of our store and, as you may have guessed by now, the sale of the store necessitates that we move the warehouse to a new location. The new owner graciously gave me 30 days to facilitate the move, and I decided to do everything in my power to keep the online sales running and shipping on-time, as we always have, while moving the warehouse one load at a time. And with the end of the month one week away I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I still have a lot to do.

As you might expect, I have been a bit scattered over the last few weeks and my replies to emails or web site messages may have been slow, and I apologize for that. Also, our inventory is going to dip a bit over the next couple of weeks as we finish our move and get our new warehouse organized. We will have another Fusion shipment scheduled for the second week of October. We had to delay incoming shipments for a couple of reasons. First, our inventory is scattered between two locations and getting an accurate count to place an order will be difficult until the new location is organized. Second, I did not want any shipments to be sent to the new location while we are not there full time and unable to receive them.

I am really looking forward to growing into our new space and expanding our online offerings. More space means more inventory and less out-of-stocks as well. We will continue to add new products as they are released, like we did with the new Staalmeester Artist’s Brushes and Fusion Extender.

We would not have been able to make this jump without the support of our dedicated customers, so for that I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you that have shopped our site over the last few years! We look forward to creating new, valuable content to help with your painting projects.

-Mike