High Gloss Wood Finish - High-End or Low Class?


Looking at my leftover components and the furniture in my bedroom, I got the brainstorm to put together a 2d system that would be very retro 40sish. The speakers would be DIY, finished to match the 1940s waterfall Art Decofurniture. I would dress up the electronics to match. I got a tube integrated, and a couple dressers and a bed dirt cheap. The finish on the bed was destroyed, so I stripped it, stained, filled, varnished, wetsanded (several times) and polished to a very high gloss. It has a dipped in glass look I've only seen on expensive guitars, and maybe pianos. The ribbon stripe mahogany and other woods have a spectacular tiger-eye effect. My concern is that I don't recall ever seeing furniture or speakers with this type of finish. While I think it looks kind of cool, I have a funny feeling that sophisticated people with good taste may think it too glitzy or tacky, or perhaps "wonderful" (which, as far as I can tell, is rich-lady speak for "That's really messed up, but I admire your chutzpah for flaunting it"). I was hoping to put something together with huge WAF (in case I ever get a wife). What do people think? Should I keep putting together my system / furniture with the same finish? Or if there are any woodworkers out there, what did I do wrong? Does anyone remember what this furniture looked like when it was new 60 years ago?
honest1
Since you asked, a high gloss sheen is appropiate on some furniture, not on others. In your case Art Deco furniture had a satin to semi-gloss sheen, but never a high gloss mirror sheen. However, it is your furniture and if you like it, so be it. Chances are if you meet the right woman she'll pick out something entirely different anyway.
Nothing wrong with a high gloss finish if you ask me. I think it looks very striking and shows that the crafter valued the piece enough to invest so much time in it.

As to its value in speakers, im not sure, the finish might have unwanted accoustical properties, then again, it might not.

If you like it, then go for it! Personally i think it would be a very beautiful system!

Personally i dont think you did anything wrong! It sounds like you gave it a beautiful finish.
It can look good if done right, or like crap if done poorly.

Example:

good: verity parsifal encore
bad: Quad 21L.

-Ed
Anyone who has done any wood working will appreciate the effort put into these cabinets.

As far as the Art Deco look, they might not be exactly what was available at the time, but that does not mean that they will not coordinate with your furniture. Rooms that are exclusively one style tend to look more like a museum than a bedroom (or whatever room) and does not usually look very good, or maybe I should say livable. Mixing personal items, and blending styles which coordinate well is what makes your room 'home.'

How can a finish that is that difficult to do, or expensive to buy, be low class?
Another good glossy one is the Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE. Very smart-looking.

AC L2SE pics
I WOULD THINK FOR SOME REASON THAT THE GLOSSY FINISH WOULD SEAL IN THE VIBRATIONS. THIS COULD BE A GOOD OR BAD THING. YOU COULD HIGH GLOSS ONE OF THEM AND DO A COMPARISON TEST. I KNOW I RAN ACROSS A WEBSITE SOMEWHERE WHO MADE MENTION ON SEALING THE INSIDE OF THE CABINETS WITH SOME TYPE OF SEALENT AS WELL AS USING POSTER CAULK TO ROUND OUT THE EDGES OF THE INSIDE OF THE CABINET. PROBLEM IS ONCE YOU SEAL ONE IN HIGH GLOSS AND YOU DON'T LIKE IT YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GO BACK EVEN WITH ALOT OF SANDING. HUMM WHAT TO DO. GOOD LUCK.
I can't see how a finish would "seal in" vibrations.

If I understand, I would guess that, in a sense, "sealing in" is what you want in most box speaker designs--that is, you don't really want the box itself to vibrate at all.

I can see that any finish would help damp panel vibrations ever so slightly, for the same reason that different-density materials bonded together have better damping properties than a single uniform material. But the effect would be minimal.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't think vibration or resonance control has much to do with choice of exterior finish.
Honest1, if 'sophisticated people with good taste' really exist (I don't know them. Except for you, Slappy. Congrats with the new car) they won't critisize others people taste, and if they do, who cares? If you like the look..... well, you gotta look at it every day. And as Merganser said, a woman will (try to) re-recorate anyway, whatever furniture you've got. Just do what makes you a happy man (wow. That's kind of philosophical. Sorry about that, mates. Maybe I need to drink a bit more beer......
As for the sound: I've heard the finish can make a different in sound, but never experienced it.