Technical Finishing Services
produces wood stain and paint samples. We built our business from the ground up in 1988 specifically to make wood finish samples for the office furniture industries. In that business, our only 'competitor' is our customer's own finishing departments. We like to brag that we have very long-standing relationships with most of the largest office furniture manufacturers in the USA and have been told time and time again, "Yeah, we can make them, but they never look as nice as how you make them".

Over the years we have added to our capabilities by making samples for ANY manufacturers that need to sample their stain and paint color offerings. We will produce your samples - on-time, color accurate and affordable - guaranteed.

Did you know that the conversion rate from receipt of samples to actual product purchase is over 80%?
Are you a manufacturer producing - furniture, kitchen cabinets, coatings, millwork, doors, flooring, windows, window treatments or an OEM supplier or a large retailer?
Are you still waiting for your your samples?
And when you do get them - are they on-time and on-budget and have the quality that stands out and looks better than your competitors?

If not (or even if they do and you would like to look at costs), give us a call
to explore all the possibilities of outsourcing your sampling. We're sample makers. It's all we've been doing for the last 29 years.

Technical Finishing Services was founded in 1988 as a division of a 100+ year old, family owned company, Colwell Colour. which is the world's largest paint sampling company.

The startup idea for this business was prompted by inquiries from current customers of Colwell Industries other manufacturing divisions that were expressing a desire to outsource their wood finish sampling.
A 16,000 square foot building, located in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was secured to house the new endeavor.

Insistence on quality standards, fair pricing, on-time delivery and our ability to produce quality sampling programs have generated our steady growth.


The biggest competitor facing TFS was convincing customers that we could reproduce their wood finishes accurately and be a cost effective alternative versus producing the samples themselves in-house. Great amounts of time, money and effort were exerted in this bold attempt. We geared the manufacturing departments to achieve maximum efficiency and color control throughout the manufacturing process of the wood finish samples. Specialized equipment was designed and built. We tend to think of ourselves as an extension of each of our customer's own finishing departments.

Our main objective has always been to produce a quality looking sample - consistent in finish appearance and color. All the stain samples are individually quality controlled for any flaws.

If you need samples that can be hung on an existing showroom display, fitted into a box for your display cabinet, slid into catalog pages for your dealers, single samples for the interior designer's or customer's use or fan decks for use by general contractors and architects, we can help.


Our company's foundation was built on a core of talented & experienced finishers. Each of our finishers has 25+ years' experience working at TFS. Color matching your stain wood finishes is their specialty. Our 'bread & butter' around here is producing samples for Office Furniture & Kitchen Cabinet manufacturers, but we do produce samples for many other manufacturers such as:

Paint & Stain Coating Manufacturers:
gloss or sheen level samples
stain & brush-on coatings
exterior house & deck stains
interior & exterior paints
varnish type coatings

floor paints
specialty coatings - faux stone, crackle lacquers, spatter, hammertone, pearls, metallic.
Automotive Refinish Manufacturers:
urethane & polyurethane coatings on metal, paper & many synthetic substrates.
Send us your paint and we'll make it shine!

Other Sampling

TFS also can produce your High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) & thermofoil sampling.
We also can sample your tabletop edge treatment offerings regardless of what manufactured process are used to produce them.

We will work directly with your own manufacturing departments or your suppliers to make your sampling needs flow as effortlessly as possible so your end customer can have the tools to make the selections they need.

We know that a sample produced by us can be your customer's first impression about your manufactured quality. We pride ourselves on attention to detail and fully realize that fact when we print and place the label with your company's name on that sample!


We take care of everything. Samples produced by TFS include painting all edges & backs black, printing & applying labels, inserting your samples into poly sleeves or catalog binder pages, collating and building fan decks and any other specific packaging or display situations you require.

To help our customers maintain current inventory quantities and help ease budget constraints, TFS offers a just-in-time (JIT) program. TFS will maintain inventories of your finish samples and ship to your manufacturing plant or your ad stock distribution vendor on an as-needed basis. With the JIT program, you can order larger quantities of samples to get the lower price. We release the samples as you need them. By utilizing the efficiency of the internet, we custom build password-protected web pages for each of our customers. This enables our clients, when their time permits, to view & track the status of their inventory, past usage data and shipping info, packing list details, invoices, etc. This JIT program will help spread out your cash flow and budget, because we only invoice what we ship - as YOU need them.

Large runs or small, TFS will create the sampling tools you need, with the quality you expect and on-time delivery. Cost is very important too and TFS usually produces for the same or less - versus producing them in-house and all samples made by us have a 100% guarantee.

If you want to make that first impression of quality finished products to your customers, we deliver. If you have ever lost a sale due to not having a sample available or your sample was not a quality presentation needed to secure that order or you had problems with your samples not replicating your target color - contact us for to learn more about the possibilities of improving your company's sales aid tools.

Want to take a more in-depth look at TFS making stain samples?   Take a plant tour.
Want to see a fex examples of store displays that we made the samples for?   Go here.

You can contact Phil by email or call me at the plant at (763) 571-3902 between 8:30 - 4:30 (Central Time)
© 2001-2017 Technical Finishing Services, Inc.


7541 Commerce Lane NE
Fridley, MN 55432
Phone: (763) 571-3902