Advancements in technology have made custom prefinishing a popular choice among commercial and residential contractors. Despite its rising popularity, there still remains some confusion as to what prefinishing is all about. That’s why we created this overview to break it down.


Prefinished refers to materials that are finished (sealed, painted, etc) in an offsite facility prior to installation. Prefinished materials may also be referred to as factory finished, factory applied, or machine finished.

Prefinishing takes place in a workshop or factory, allowing for greater control over production compared to onsite finishing. Although prefinished materials are typically more expensive, the higher upfront costs often balance out when you take lower labor costs and improved durability into account.

Factory finishing’s ability to save money and time has led to rapid growth in the industry. So rapid, in fact, that Lancaster Prefinishing will be adding 4800 sq. ft. to our facility by spring of 2021, nearly doubling our original square footage.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for prefinishing’s skyrocketing popularity.

Top 10 Benefits Of Prefinishing

  1. Saves Time
  2. No Weather Delays
  3. Available Year Around
  4. Saves On Labor
  5. No Streaks Or Dips
  6. 6-Sided Protection
  7. No Overspray
  8. No VOCs
  9. Instant Curb Appeal
  10. Instant Weather Protection


  • Wood
  • Engineered Wood
  • Fiber Cement


  • Primer
  • Clearcoat
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Flame Retardant
  • Wood Preservative


  • Lineal Spray
  • Flood/Brush Coat
  • Vacuum Coating
  • Reciprocating Spray
  • U.V. Dryers
  • Color Spectrometers
wood prefinishing coating

Consistent, 360° Coating

Advanced technology allows prefinishing facilities to coat almost any material with almost any desired finish. This state-of-the-art machinery provides greater control over all aspects of a finish’s application, like color consistency and uniform mil thickness. 

Unlike onsite (or field) finishing, prefinishing allows for 360° access to the materials throughout the application process. This allows technicians to catch and correct any blemishes or mistakes before they’ve had a chance to set. It also means the machinery can coat all sides of a piece, giving the material additional protection from the elements. This is especially critical in the case of finishes like flame retardants, sealants, and preservatives.

Ideal Conditions, 24/7

Being able to precisely control factors like humidity and temperature means prefinishing facilities are always operating in ideal conditions. Certainly not something that can be said for a job site! Since they’re not at the mercy of Mother Nature, prefinished materials reduce costly weather delays and can even extend the building season. The controlled conditions of a prefinishing facility also make it easier to keep materials free of dust, debris, moisture and other factors that can negatively affect adhesion.

wood prefinishing shop

Safer All Around

Prefinishing in a controlled facility allows for additional safety measures that aren’t possible with field finishing. It reduces risk for crews working on risky or challenging jobsite and protects the materials themselves from UV damage that can occur in the time between installation and onsite finishing, affecting adhesion. Finally, a prefinishing facility’s industrial ventilation system can neutralize VOCs and other harmful fumes finishing generates, preventing these toxic gases from harming workers’ lungs or the escaping into the atmosphere.

Prefinished materials save time and money while delivering superior results. With so many upsides and continuing advances in technology, the popularity of prefinished materials will surely keep growing. Have you made the switch yet?


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