Help / FAQs

Contest Results Will Be Announced the Week of August 28th.

How Do I Vote In The Mad Scientist Category (Popular Vote)?

The popular vote is for the Mad Scientist category only. Voting begins noon CST, August 4, through midnight CST, August 11. Winners will be announced the fourth week in August.

  1. Registration is required for new voters to prevent protect the site from spam. Previous registrants can use their original email and password, or request an email reset.
    1. You can also register using Facebook by clicking the Continue With Facebook button.
  2. Then Click on the "Vote Here" button at the top of the page. Browse the Mad Scientist entries and click the check box next to the piece that you want to vote for.
  3. Once you have selected your entry, you are done. Your vote has been auto-saved - no further action is needed.
  4. You can change your mind and revote until midnight August 11th.

How To Vote In the Mad Scientist Contest


Can I Vote For Myself in The Popular Vote Contest?

Yes. Just once, please. :)


Voting Instructions for Independant Judges

  1. Log in to your account using the "My Account/Dashboard" Button
  2. Click on "Vote Here (Registration Required.....)" button at the top of the contest page.
  3. Review the items in each category that you are voting on. If you are unable to immediately decide on who to vote for in each category (some categories have over 100 entries), you can pick your favorites and put them in a "holding pen" by adding a checkmark on each entry. (You may save several favorites, but your vote will not be counted until you narrow down your selections to ONE entry.)
  4. After making your selection(s), click on the "My Accoun/Dashboard" Button.This takes you to your dashboard, where you can look at the favorites you've saved in your holding pen. If you have selected only one entry, you are done. Your vote has been auto-saved - no further action is needed.
  5. If you've selected several favorites to chose from, narrow them down by unchecking the entries you want to remove and clicking "Save Order." Once you have narrowed down to one entry, you are done. Your vote has been auto-saved - no further action is needed.
  6. You may continue to browse the entries and change your vote until the contest closes at midnight CST, August 11th. 

What Is the Design Challenge Schedule?

  1. 6:30 P.M.CST, July 7, through midnight CST, July 28: Entries can be submitted
  2. Noon CST, August 4, through midnight CST, August 11: Voting for the popular vote and judging in the merit categories.
  3. 3rd week in August: Winners announced

Do I Have To Register to Vote in the Popular Vote Category?

  1. Registration is required for new voters to prevent protect the site from spam. Previous registrants can use their original email and password, or request an email reset.
    1. You can also register using Facebook by clicking the Continue With Facebook button.

I Changed My Mind. Can I Change My Vote?

You may continue to browse the entries and change your vote from noon CST, August 4, until the contest closes at 5 p.m. CST, August 11. Winners will be announced the third week in August.


How Many Times Can I Vote?

Only one vote per person and per computer.


Can My Friends/Family Vote For the Popular Contest Using My Computer?

Results will be filtered by login name and IP address, so please ask friends and family members to vote from their own computer.


When Will The Winners Be Announced?

Winners will be announced the third week in August.


When Is The Voting Deadline?

Voting begins noon CST, August 4, through midnight CST, August 11. Winners will be announced the third week in August.


May I Enter a Project That Was Entered In Previous Design Challenges?

Nope, but it does not matter when you complete the piece. You could have finished it years ago and it is still a valid entry.

Do You Have Any Tips For Photograping My Entry?

For helpful tips on how to photograph your entry, check out this illustration. The higher the quality of your photos, the more likely you are to win!

How to stage your entry for the General Finishes Design Challenge

What Information Needs to Be Included With My Submission?

Along with submitting a photo of your work, include a decription of the finishing techniques and a list of all products used to complete the project, including other manufacturers. 

How Do I Qualify to Enter the DIY Hobbyist Upcycled Furniture Category?

The DIY Hobbyist category is reserved for people with NO resale business.  If you are selling anywhere, you must enter another category. This category was created as a safe place for hobbyists to enter and have a fair playing field. Resale entries will be asked to move or be removed. 

Can I Submit Multiple Entries?

You may enter multiple unique entries but may not submit the same project in multiple categories. For example, you can submit 4 pieces of furniture in the Creative category, but cannot submit any of those 4 in another category.

What Are The Image Upload Requirements?

Accepted file types for photo submissions are: png, gif, jpg and jpeg. 

How Do I Share My Popular Vote Entry So Others Can Vote For Me?

  1. Find the entry you want to share on the See The Entries page
  2. Copy the URL of the page and paste it into your Facebook status box. Image doesn't pop up? No worries! Remove the URL and try pasting it back into the post. Facebook will then be able to properly link the image and you can share with everyone that gorgeous project you spent so much time on!

- OR -

  1. Use the Share widget in the upper right corner of the page. This will automatically create a post linking to the entry. Just be sure to be logged into Facebook so that it can link to your profile!

How Can I Check If My Entry Was Successfully Submitted?

Two way:

  1. Go to your profile and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There will be links to any entries.
  2. Go to the "See all Entries" button on the main menu. From there you can search for your entry by your name or your project name.

How Do I Edit My Profile

Click on Edit My Profile.

I Uploaded An Entry Twice - How Do I Delete the Duplicate.

Just reach out to us using the contact form on your dashboard, and we will remove the extra entry.

How Do I Edit an Entry That Has Already Been Submitted?

Just log into your account with your email and password, navigate to your entry and edit away. Click submit or save and you are done.

Must I Own The Piece I Am Entering?

No, you do not need to own the piece of work you are submitting to the contest. It can be a project for a customer, family or friends. But you must have finished piece yourself, and in the case of woodworking, wood turning and transformation projects, you must have created the piece.

What Category Does My Entry Fall Into?

Select the topic from our list of options that best represents your work. If you change your mind, you can log into your account and select another category. 

How Are The Winners Selected?

All contests are judged independently by our stellar panel of judges except for the Mad Scientist Category which will be determined by popular vote, giving contestants the opporturnity to promote their business across their channels.

Where can I buy General Finishes products?

Find your favorite GF products in the U.S. at Woodcraft, Rockler, Klingspor, Amazon, or in Canada at Wood Essence and Lee Valley. You can also purchase GF products from any of the 31 Illinois JC Licht locations or use your own zip code to find a retailer near you at http://bit.ly/1pEtZMu.

How Do I Enter The Contest?

Contest entrants will be able to set up an account and submit entries starting approximately 6:30 PM CST, July 7, through midnight CST, July 28. Click on the Enter Contest/My Account Button on the upper menu bar. You will be asked to set up an account with your email and password. Fill out your profile, describe your entry and upload your images. If you forget your password, you can reset your password at any time.

First Time Entrants

First Time contest entrants will be able to set up an account and submit entries starting 5 PM CST, July 7, through midnight CST, July 28. Click on the Enter Contest/My Account Button on the upper menu bar. You will be asked to set up an account with your email and password. Fill out your profile, describe your entry and upload your images. 

Returning Entrants

If you have entered the contest in previous years, cclick on the Enter Contest/My Account Button on the upper menu bar. If you have forgotten your password, request a password rest to be sent to you via email.


Voting Instructions for Independant Judges

Click on "Vote Here (Registration Required)" button at the top of the contest page. Review the items in each category that you are voting on. If you are unable to immediately decide on who to vote for in each category (some categories have over 100 entries), you can pick your favorites and put them in a "holding pen" by adding a checkmark on each entry. (You may save several favorites, but your vote will not be counted until you narrow down your selections to ONE entry.) After making your selection(s), open up your account. This takes you to your dashboard, where you can look at the favorites you've saved in your holding pen. If you have selected only one entry, you are done. Your vote has been auto-saved - no further action is needed. If you've selected several favorites to chose from, narrow them down by unchecking the entries you want to remove and clicking "Save Order." Once you have narrowed down to one entry, you are done. Your vote has been auto-saved - no further action is needed. You may continue to browse the entries and change your vote until the contest closes at midnight CST, August 11th.