Sherwin-Williams did lots of
research to develop the tool, inviting
150 designers to take it for a spin. “It’s
beyond a beta pilot,” said Kujawski.
“We’ve gotten lots of feedback. This is
going to be a home run.”
One of the reasons he is so confi-
dent about the Virtual Panel Studio is
the number of tools built into it. You
don’t even have to be in your office to
use it. You can download a mobile app
to use it on the go, calling it up at a cli-
ent’s office or looking at panel samples
while checking out other design ele-
ments under consideration.
And you don’t have to be a slave to
someone’s daytime schedule. “These
designers work around the clock. This
is a 24-hour business,” said Kujawski.
“You can log on at 2 a.m.”
The Virtual Panel Studio is a pass-
word-protected service, so you do have
to register to obtain access. And, there
are some cautions. Although every one
of the images shown is a real photo-
graph of a real panel sample, there
could be differences between what you
see on your screen and how the panel
looks in person. That’s why Sherwin-
Williams urges designers and finishers
to obtain physical samples from the
company’s design center before mak-
ing critical decisions.
For finishers, once the decision to
proceed is made, Sherwin-Williams
makes it easy because each panel has a
recipe attached to it. That way finishers can expertly and consistently duplicate the finish seen on the sample.
Other features make it easy to
sort and share the virtual samples.
You can download any of the images
in a variety of file formats. You can
download one at a time or multiple
panel images all at once. You can cre-
ate, save, and access collections in the
system, so you could group samples for
different products or clients. Then you
can share individual panels or entire
collections by URL or email.
You can also mark panels as favor-
ites to show up first in later searches.
Kujawski emphasized that as power-
ful as the Virtual Panel Studio is, the
tool should be used hand-in-hand with
the Global Color and Design Center.
He noted the fast-changing trends
affecting finishes in the woodworking
industry today. “It goes back to having
an exciting finish to differentiate your
product,” he said. “You see the stormy
blues, denim blues, two-tone kitchens
with lowers darker and islands darker.
We can advise how manufacturers can
change their pallet.”
For more information about the
Global Color and Design Center and
to obtain access to the Virtual Panel
Studio, visit oem.sherwin-williams.
Sherwin-Williams’ Virtual Panel Studio
offers easy access to hundreds of samples
of finish panels for designers and finishers
in the woodworking industry.
Each panel has information about the color
family, gloss level, wood species, and any
special finish or effects used to accomplish
A downloaded sample of Rustic Driftwood
Oak shows an example of the panels
available in the Virtual Panel Studio.
Joe Kujawski, director of marketing for
wood segments at Sherwin-Williams.